International collaboration and innovation

The benefits of international collaboration

Australia's economic, social and environmental well-being depends on having world-class innovative businesses that are globally engaged and taking the lead in efforts to address global challenges.

The modern global economy creating international opportunities and collaborations are one way that Australian businesses can capitalise on these. Some of the benefits of international collaboration can include:

  • sharing and staying abreast of international knowledge, developments and expertise
  • establishing networks in export markets
  • increasing competitive advantage through acceleration of the innovation process
  • benchmarking Australian research quality and expertise internationally
  • allowing Australian researchers and business' access to sources of global funding
  • providing international sources of inspiration and new ideas.

Accessing networks and international partners

Collaboration success depends on the provision of complementary skills by each party and on how well they work and communicate with each other. Companies that are successful at international collaboration recognise that face to face contact is important to establish, progress and maintain collaborative international partnerships.

Whilst technologies like video conference and social networking make international communication easier, it's face to face interaction that consolidates partnerships, builds trust and, in some instances, determines the success of the collaboration.

Common ways of forming networks is attendance at trade shows and conferences and interaction with other business representatives attending these functions.

Through a network of offices in over 50 countries, Austrade assists Australian companies to succeed in international business, attract foreign direct investment into Australia and promotes Australia's education sector internationally.

Collaboration Tools

Some tools and resources that may assist with collaboration include:

Finding new export markets

Exporting can open a business to new markets, spread risk by reducing dependence on the local market and increase your competitiveness. Successful exporting takes careful planning and commitment. You'll need to make sure you meet exporting requirements and regulations and that you have a solid export plan in place.

Open innovation

Open innovation is a business model that encourages collaboration with a broad range of external partners. It acknowledges that no one company can have all the expertise and own all the best ideas. Indeed solutions to technical challenges could already exist in non-competing sectors.

Open innovation can include:

  • seeking access, licensing and use of existing technologies or collaborating on joint research projects
  • research and collaboration with partners such as university groups and key suppliers
  • co-development with other companies (either competitors or non-competitors)
  • out-licensing technology to non-competing groups.

There are many online platforms available to link businesses to open innovation ideas and networks.

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