Atlassian's Mike Cannon-Brookes just pointed out a staggering R&D fact to 'make you stop and think'

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.

The Australian Financial Review’s innovation summit is on today and Australia’s chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel is one of the keynote speakers.

Before taking to the stage he spoke to the Fin, delivering what looked like a sly dig at “innovation PM” Malcolm Turnbull, saying:

“You cannot order your country to have ideas, you cannot order your country to pursue them – any more than you can order a soccer team to win.”

He also pointed to the benefit of government investment in science, saying: “If science turns money into knowledge – then innovation turns that knowledge back into money, and generally a lot more money than the taxpayers put in.”

Warming to the theme at the Innovation Summit, Dr Finkel told the gathering today that Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon all spend more on R&D than our federal government, which manages a $445 billion budget in a $1.6 trillion economy.

Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder of the $4 billion Australian tech company Atlassian, raised his eyebrow on Twitter at that observation:

Over to you, industry, innovation and science minister Greg Hunt.

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at