Australia has slid on three digital competitiveness rankings every year since 2015, according to the Switzerland based IMD World Competitiveness Centre
Overall, Australia dropped from 9th in the world in 2015 to 14th this – and the country is now in the mid-teens on knowledge, technology and future readiness.
The US is first in the world overall, followed by Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Finland, Hong Kong, Norway and the Republic of Korea.
The ratings are based on 30 data and 20 survey criteria.
“The results highlight that we need a broader national community discussion around the importance of R&D, investment in technology, and tech skills and how the benefits of these flow back to the community,” Melinda Cilento from IMD partner, Committee for Economic Development of Australia, says.
It is not a conversation all Australians embrace. As prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull was keen on AI and R&D and for a while there was an industry, innovation and science portfolio. But it seems a swag of Australians think digital tech change is a synonym for job losses and after the 2016 election the government stopped talking innovation up. Karen Andrews is now minister for industry, science and technology.