NEWS

14 September 2016

Report Launch a success | Growing the Australian Innovation Economy

The official launch of the Future Cities Collaborative's most recent report, Growing the Australian Innovation Economy, co-produced with AECOM, was a resounding success with The Hon. Rob Stokes, Minister for Planning, presenting a keynote at the event that brought together an audience of over 100 key stakeholders across industry, academia and government at Customs House on 8 September.

Building on the report's findings, Minister Stokes kicked off the launch with some great points about the innovation economy in Australia and ways to accelerate its growth, focusing on how to keep our innovators from going overseas to have their ideas commercialised and diffused. 

Left-Right: Sandy Burgoyne, Director of the Future Cities Collaborative, The Hon. Rob Stokes, Minister for Planning, Professor Ed Blakely, Chair of the Future Cities Collaborative and James Rosenwax, Market Sector Director of Cities at AECOM. 

"We need more inclusionary mixed-use zoning so we can bring [together] the very services, ideas, and all the various actors...to ensure that ideation goes through conversion into diffusion. That’s what the process of innovation is all about, that’s what this report is all about.”

He discussed variation in the history of Australian innovations such as WiFi and the Hills Hoist. “Some ideas are instantly tangible but some take longer to germinate because their benefits are unseen.”

The Minister's remarks gave credence that our report will play an important role in speeding up the realisation of innovative ideas in Australia.

The Hon. Rob Stokes, Minister for Planning

Professor Ed Blakely followed Minister Stokes with a presentation of the report's 10 key findings, elaborating on the need to use a place's existing assets, and to ensure that such places are "genuinely inclusive". Speaking about the role of government, he said it should be a facilitator not a "pusher and puller" and stressed that risk-taking and failure are part and parcel of success.

"Governments have to learn about how to spread its risk."

Professor Blakely also called attention to the innovation precinct in Emeryville, California where "people took a chance on the future". By putting components like artist studios and laboratories in the same building, Emeryville created the "fire" necessary for a successful innovation district.

James Rosenwax, Market Sector Director of Cities at AECOM, facilitated an engaging discussion between the audience and a panel of expert leaders in their field including Lisa Havilah, Director of Carriageworks, Duncan Read, General Manager of UrbanGrowth NSW, Nick Austin, Founder and CEO of Divvy Parking and Adam Beck, Executive Director of Smart Cities Council (Australia New Zealand).

Panelists (left to right): James Rosenwax, Market Sector Director of Cities at AECOM, Lisa Havilah, Director of Carriageworks, Nick Austin, Founder and CEO of Divvy Parking, Professor Ed Blakely, Chair of the Future Cities Collaborative, Adam Beck, Executive Director of Smart Cities Council (Australia New Zealand), and Duncan Read, General Manager of UrbanGrowth NSW

Lisa Havilah talked about some of the ideas underpinning Carriageworks' success as a creative institution, crediting much of it to a sensitivity to place and integrating the area's indigenous and industrial history into its programs. Similarly, collaborating with universities and increasing connectivity with neighbouring developments at ATP has also informed their agenda.  

The audience discussed a range of exciting projects they are involved in from co-locating artist studios in secondary schools in Blacktown, to improving Macquarie Park by cultivating the "squishy stuff" or the soft networking that really sticks an innovation precinct together, that will move it beyond a 9-5 business model. 

We were delighted that the launch sparked not one, but multiple, conversations about the future of the innovation economy in Australia and we were pleased to see so many engage with our panellists and keynote speakers.

  • Listen to the keynote presentations below

  • Listen to the panel discussion below

  • View more photos of the event here
  • Copies of the report are also available to download here.

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Report Launch a success | Growing the Australian Innovation Economy
14 September 2016

The official launch of the Future Cities Collaborative's most recent report, Growing the Australian Innovation Economy, co-produced with AECOM, was a resounding success with The Hon. Rob Stokes, Minister for Planning, presenting a keynote at the event that brought together an audience of over 100 key stakeholders across industry, academia and government at Customs House on 8 September.