Designing and developing successful regional innovation economies: Opportunities for Queensland and Australia

Innovation to Accelerate Economic Growth


  • Tom White, Chief Revenue Officer, Network for Global Innovation (NGIN)
  • Scott Bourke, Director – Innovation & City Transformation, Logan City Council and
  • Matt Horton, Director for the Center for Regional Economics and California Center, Milken Institute

Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, La Jolla, and Boston are coastal US cities with incredibly powerful economies based on their ability to harness innovation for economic growth and commercial resiliency. But what those cities have in common is the Innovation Hub model they each use. 

Their high visibility has revealed how public sector investment can be combined in a coordinated fashion with technology innovation and regional stakeholders to fuel accelerated economic growth. This has certainly been the case in the US based on research and analysis from The Milken Institute and NGIN (Network for Global Innovation), and there are good reasons to expect that this finding has broader international/country relevance. 

The result has been a substantive increase in the volume of sustainable companies that create high-value jobs. This economic engine has proven to drive region-wide, sustainable growth at five times the speed of a conventional economic development framework.

At the same time, it provides inclusive opportunities for underserved communities within the region, as well as those with early-stage ventures. This model is effective in identifying untapped sources of innovation and economic resiliency.

However, until now, inland regions have been largely excluded from this process. They are challenged to identify the suite of assets required for innovation and to understand how the correct framework required for growth can be built and launched.

These regions historically lack access to the tools needed to identify the problems that thwart economic growth. To succeed with an Innovation Hub model, these cities need to develop a working understanding of how innovation can deliver economic opportunity and impact to communities across a region. 

At the upcoming National Cleantech Conference and Exhibition in Brisbane, November 1-2, an Australia/USA panel will describe this Innovation Hub framework. It will demonstrate the ways in which innovation can stimulate region-wide growth, and how the model can be applied to inland communities globally. Case studies will reveal the benefits of capturing invention and investment, and how best practices create high-value jobs.  

The panelists will share emerging best practice thinking and practical, first-hand ‘case’ experience. Tom White, the Chief Revenue Officer from Los Angeles-based NGIN will moderate the conversation between Dr. Scott Bourke, Director of Innovation and City Transformation in Logan, Australia, and Matt Horton, Director at The Milken Institute in Santa Monica, California. 

NCTCE 2022 Panel: Innovation to Accelerate Economic Growth

As a result of the pandemic, the innovation landscape has revealed new opportunities such as Cleantech, which can deliver economic benefits to regions whose innovation infrastructure has been underserved for far too long. This session will explore the three things states need to do to distribute their innovation infrastructure to regions that have been largely ignored.

Tom White, Chief Revenue Officer for the Network for Global Innovation will interview Matt Horton, Director of the Milken Institute’s Center for Regional Economics and California Center, and the co-author of the article on the subject. In addition, a special guest from the Queensland innovation ecosystem will provide insights on how an accelerated model for economic growth currently underway in California is being adapted to deliver value in Queensland.

Key Presentation Takeaways

  1. How to enhance the state’s innovation infrastructure by directing investments to regions that lack the necessary capacity and resources to capture the spillover effects resulting from R&D and commercialization
  2. How investing in industry-specific growth initiatives that capitalize on local strengths and assets accelerate economic growth.
  3. How higher education leaders can launch a “Future Proofing Workforce” taskforce to meet the reskilling, training, and employer partnership needs across all higher education platforms

Join us at NCTCE 2022 in Brisbane

The 2022 program will focus on the crucial role Cleantech will play in the economic recovery and achievement of a net-zero future. The two-day, multistream program will be delivered both in-person and live-streamed.

Hear from our speakers who will discuss innovative strategies and solutions for businesses to make the move to clean technology for a sustainability and long-term business growth.

Register now.

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