After a sustained period of economic prosperity, Australia is facing some tough challenges. Slowing growth, declining real wages, falling productivity and end of the mining boom to name a few.

Businesses also have to come to terms with the fact that we are in the midst of a digital revolution. Technology is changing the way we live, work and play and shaping major trends in globalisation, automation and collaboration.

We are at a critical point in time.  Australia needs to foster a nation of innovation to ensure our children, businesses and economy prosper in the long term. We need to equip our children with 21st century skills, to enable them to think, solve, create, persist, sort and share. Above all, we need to encourage them to remain curious, imaginative and passionate.

We know that STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) education has an important role to play in building our pipeline of future innovators and problem solvers. However, the statistics tell us that the number of young Australians engaging with the STEM disciplines in secondary school has been in decline, and that compared to our global peers, the number of tertiary students graduating from STEM disciplines is low.

At PwC, we believe this is a problem worth solving, and have committed to help build Australia’s pipeline of innovators and problem solvers skilled STEM.

21st Century Minds Accelerator Program

Through the 21st Century Minds (21CM) initiative, PwC is investing over $2.5m to rapidly scale some of the most promising STEM education initiatives in Australia.

In 2016, PwC and the 21CM community are supporting 20 initiatives through an intense and bespoke acceleration process to help them achieve rapid and effective scale. At the heart of this community is collaboration, as we believe that no single entity – whether it be government, business, the education or community sector – can solve this challenge alone. So we invite you to get involved.

Making STEM a primary priority

Practical steps to improve the quality of science and mathematics teaching in Australian Primary Schools.

PwC’s perspective on the Government’s national innovation and science agenda

PwC insights into the Federal Government's Innovation Statement and what this means to Australian business.