If you want good independent, reliable research done on the jobs of the 21st century, who do you call? The lobby group for start-ups in Australia, of course. Industry and Innovation Minister Christopher Pyne announced yesterday that StartUpAUS, a not-for-profit that advocates “technology entrepreneurship”, would be funded over the next three years to write a series of reports for the government. The reports will cover “Culture and Entrepreneurship” and “International Analysis of Entrepreneurial Programmes” at a cost of $120,000 a year for the first two years.

“As the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda boosts innovation across every sector of the economy, it is critical that we have a clear understanding of the opportunities that will deliver the jobs of the 21st century,” Pyne said in the announcement.

But how clear will the understanding be? StartUpAUS is funded by Google, SalesForce and other start-ups. Will the reports be independent analyses of the industry? Labor’s innovation spokesperson Ed Husic doesn’t think so:

StartUpAUS CEO Alex McCauley has defended the group’s ability to be independent of government, telling StartUpSmart: “We were very clear when we agreed to take on the work that StartupAUS would have complete editorial control over the report themselves, and that the funds were directly linked to the reports and nothing else”.


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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey