Open Innovation drives growth in the Australian economy

Australia_Sydney_Skyline.pngThis has been a year of growth for Intellectual Property in Australia. IP Australia (patent office) received 28,605 standard patent applications in 2015, an increase of 10 per cent from 2014 recording a 14 per cent growth year-on-year. Designs are up six per cent, and plant breeder’s rights (PBRs) five per cent.

The growth trend normalised in 2015, following sharp growth in 2013 and a subsequent decline in 2014, which had been driven by the IP Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act in 2012. Meanwhile trade marks and designs recorded their highest number of applications on record. The overall innovation rate in Australia generally shows moderate year-on-year growth, with any breaks in the upward movement being caused by exogenous factors such as legislative changes and the Global Financial Crisis.

Like many countries, Australia pursues open innovation as a way to stimulate growth. According to a report by PWC there are 8 trends that are currently driving rapid digital innovation in Australia:

  • Speed and sophistication of digitization is on the rise
  • Data is increasing in value
  • Consumers are demonstrating higher levels of digital awareness. 53% of Australians would see their doctor through a smartphone or computer
  • A rise in crowd-funding, as 40% of Australians said they would invest in this way
  • Ever increasing usage of social platforms, including interactions with businesses. 49% of Australians have interacted at least once with a company over social media within the last 6 months
  • A more instense market, as your competitors are no longer just down the road
  • A change in the structure of businesses as traditional models become antiquated
  • A shift in empoloyment dynamics as digital productivity and efficiency impact jobs

The increasing rate of innovation is particularly significant in the healthcare sector, even though it is not the biggest industry according to figures from Australian Stock Exchange.

The biggest industries by market capitalization in Australia are:

Metals and Mining Industry - ASX Market Capitalization: $320 billion
• Major players: BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Newcrest Mining, Fortescue Metals Group, OZ Minerals

Energy and Utilities Industry - ASX Market Capitalization: $155 billion
• Major players: 
Woodside Petroleum, Origin Energy, Santos, Coal & Allied Industries, Oil Search

Industrials and Materials Industry - ASX Market Capitalization: $142 billion
• Major players: Leighton Holdings, Orica, Brambles, Amcor, Transurban Group

Healthcare Industry - ASX Market Capitalization: $48 billion
• Major players: CSL, Resmed Inc., Sonic Healthcare, Cochlear, Ramsay Health Care

Despite coming in fourth position, an evaluation of the major areas of patenting activity reveals that the classifications relating to healthcare are by far the biggest:


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An analysis of the companies with the largest patent portfolios filed in Australia shows Ericsson in first position, followed by Proctor and Gamble, BASF, Merck, Philips and Novartis. Australia is a country that has digital innovation at the top of its priority list and PatSnap will certainly continue to follow the growth of intellectual property in this market.  

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