By NICK PERRY
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Australia’s government says it will spend more than $1 billion on converting research ideas into commercial hits as it looks to improve the economy with an election looming. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said a new program called Australia’s Economic Accelerator would focus on commercializing research in six areas: defense, space, minerals, food, medical products, and clean energy. Morrison faces a tough election challenge from opposition leader Anthony Albanese, whose Labor Party has been leading the government coalition in some opinion polls. Morrison has yet to announce a date for the election, which must be held by May 21.