Global tech firms generally have significant commercial footprints in Australia, but few do any research and development (R&D) here. Instead, their Australian offices tend to focus on sales and marketing. This compounds the existing problem that Australia already spends less on R&D than peer OECD countries (around 1.87% of GDP—and falling—in comparison with an average of 2.3%).
To compete for global R&D, Australia needs strong fundamentals (including skilled local talent, accessible visas, world-class research institutions, high quality business infrastructure, and clear strengths in particular areas with a proven track record of high quality work). But given the internationally competitive market for flagship R&D programs, Australia also needs to tell a cohesive narrative about why it should be on the radar for tech executives looking to set up new R&D labs.