Regional business and industry are critical players in regional innovation systems, yet there is currently no reliable way to assess the actual makeup of these entities in regional Australia. This project set out to provide a comprehensive and current business audit for the Rockhampton region, and then to use that information to identify the potential for innovation relationships between SMEs, the regional university, and various other regional service providers. In particular, the project was focussed on discovering ways to more strategically engage with local industry to facilitate cluster formation, develop R&D collaborations, access business expertise, and promote the region's strengths and advantages. This report describes methodologies that can be used to collate and explore information about regional businesses and their activities. It also highlights some of the challenges and opportunities that regions face in generating an evidence-base about their local business profile. Finally, it touches on the implications of this research in terms of constructing regional advantage through economic development activities, and in particular, through partnering with SMEs for innovation.