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We have identified an additional, seventh megatrend, known as “the innovation imperative”, which I have detailed in a new CSIRO book titled Global Megatrends.

This megatrend argues that Australia and advanced economies are in a tight spot and the only way out involves risk-taking, new ideas and blue-sky scientific research.

Promising areas for such research and development include regenerative and personalised medicine, energy storage, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and informatics. But the innovation imperative cuts across all fields of scientific research and human endeavour.

Why does innovation matter more today? The main reason is that we generated wealth last century by doing some clever things – mostly basic things such as exploiting high grade and easily accessible mineral ore deposits, or opening up new areas of land.

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