GE, Siemens spend more on R&D than all of Australia

Australia’s R&D budget and venture capital availability have been singled out during a leadership forum this week.

The Australian Financial Review (a sponsor of the forum) reports that the national research budget of slightly over $9 billion is less than those of multinational companies including GE, Siemens and IBM.

Ken Boal, vice president of Cisco Australia and New Zealand, told the Crawford Australian Leadership Forum that R&D funding first needed to be targeted, but further than that, Australia could be spending “a little bit more”.

Local venture capital availability, which dropped by nearly a quarter last year to $120 million, is also a problem, Katherine Woodthorpe, former CEO of the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, said.

“Overall the picture for venture capital is dire,” The AFR reports her as saying.