Monday, 07 December 2015 20:20

Innovation: How to harness the Australian diaspora through ‘Advance’


‘Advance’ welcomes the Government’s innovation statement and its ‘commitment to harnessing the Australian diaspora to boost innovation and transform the economy with new jobs and investment opportunities.’

Advance says it is ‘the largest global network of high achieving Australians and alumni of Australian universities worldwide,’ and together with KPMG, which issued its own statement (and full report) on the Turnbull Government’s Innovation Agenda today, is co-organiser of the elevate61 ‘rapid growth entrepreneur program’. 

Advance highlights this paragraph from the Federal Government’s ‘Australia’s Global Innovation Strategy’ document:

“Only 6% of Australian businesses engage in international innovation, compared to the OECD average of 18%. Australia could make more of our strong international research reputation and the valuable knowledge and contacts of our diaspora, including by working with organisations such as Advance.”

Advance says it is ‘a committed partner with the Australian Government and has an important role to play in realising the Prime Minister’s vision.’

It says that ‘the strategies that made Australia great need constant updating as we move into the future. Business success is about relationships, and in this global and networked world that means connectedness to sources of technology, capital and skills and to partners and customers.’

Saying ‘Australia’s greatest global resource is the Australian diaspora,’ Advance notes ‘the one million Australians living and working overseas and Australian returnees, as well as the two million who were educated here before returning to their own countries, mainly in Asia.’

Glen Boreham AM, Chairman, Advance Board of Directors highlighted: “This global powerhouse, made up of many of our best and brightest, builds our global connectedness, driving innovation and sustainable long-term growth. Whether working overseas or as returnees, the diaspora drive jobs, investment and exports.”

More details below, please read on.

Advance offers more detail on its work:

Business-driven and built by individual Australians, Advance explains it is ‘a grass roots expression of what it means to be committed to making a difference.’

With more than 25,000 high achieving members – 50% women - across 90 countries, Advance further explains that it is ‘a series of virtual and physical networks and programs that harness this global talent pool. Created with support from the Australian Government, major corporates and donations from members, Advance nurtures links that ultimately bring many Australians home.’

Advance claims ‘a successful track record in delivering global innovation programs for Australia.’

Advance’s access to the global talent required to enhance Australia’s innovation and global competitiveness; the organisation says ‘its track record in empowering the Australian diaspora to help start ups scale globally, its ability to establish landing pads overseas and its capability to engage highly skilled Australians who return home and / or invest in Australia is unparalleled.’

Offering us an example, the organisation says a key program has been its ‘Advance Innovation Program that has worked with 100 entrepreneurs from early stage start ups to leverage Advance’s global networks. By building entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and connections to Silicon Valley more than 30 per cent have secured investment back home in Australia.’

Another Advance program is the aforementioned elevate61, in partnership with KPMG Australia, which we’re told ‘works with later stage start-ups to build global scale from Australia. The program includes matching businesses with international advisers, entrepreneurs, investors and customers.’

Finally, Advance says its ‘annual Advance Global Australian Awards and Summit attract next gen gamechangers, innovators and well known Australians back home to share insights and know how, and mentor young Australians.’


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