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Statement of principles for Australian innovation precincts

Place-based partnerships building on competitive strengths
Innovation Educational innovations Higher education Employment and innovation clusters Australia
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apo-nid206566.pdf 5.19 MB

The Australian Government wants to foster economic growth, community development and sustainable job creation through higher levels of collaboration, research commercialisation and innovation – in the form of both innovative entrepreneurship, and innovation within existing businesses.

Domestic and international evidence shows that innovation precincts are of increasing importance in driving business and economic growth, and levels of collaboration and innovation. Australia is well placed to capitalise on these trends, for several reasons:

  • Our universities, researchers and science infrastructure are world-class
  • We are well recognised for our success in place-making, which has contributed to the high ranking of many Australian cities on measures of liveability
  • We have a range of competitive industry sectors which provide a foundation to drive economic growth and create quality jobs

In response to this opportunity, the Government established a University Precincts Advisory Committee (the Committee) to consult and provide advice on whether a national innovation precincts strategy is needed and if so, what form Government action might take.

Based on the findings from national consultations, and advice from the Committee, the Australian Government has developed this flexible Statement of Principles, rather than implement a formal, prescriptive national strategy. The consultations reinforced the view that there is value in having a Statement that provides non-prescriptive guidance on best-practice with encouragement of bottom-up leadership to drive precinct development.

Furthermore, consultations indicated that the Statement should target ‘innovation precincts’ instead of ‘university precincts’, as its focus should not be restricted to encouraging the co-location of businesses on university campuses. The Statement therefore considers place-based innovation ecosystems more broadly.

This Statement of Principles for Australian Innovation Precincts recognises that:

  • there is a broad range of existing guidance available on precinct development;
  • state and local governments, universities and businesses usually play the leadership role in precinct development;
  • there are already many active, emerging and planned innovation precincts; and
  • there are a broad range of existing Australian Government initiatives, particularly recent changes to research block grant funding and research impact measurement, that directly and indirectly support innovation precinct development.
  • This Statement of Principles is intended to foster improved precinct development by clarifying the role of the Australian Government, and aligning and informing inter-related activities and future planning by businesses, the research and education sector, and governments at all levels who are seeking to develop precincts.
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