Innovation for Regional Advantage: A Reflection

  • Susan Kinnear
  • Kate Charters


This final chapter re-examines the weight of evidence for a new construct in regional development, that of ‘innovation for regional advantage’. It coalesces the collection of case studies, situation analyses and policy reviews by exploring the critical issues for regional development, and then for innovation, before exploring the points at which these two agendas converge. The recurring theme is that strategic innovation throughout regional business, industry, government and the community sector can unlock, as well as offer significant value-add to, the considerable human, physical and economic asset bases already held within regional Australia. Indeed, innovation itself could be considered the most powerful ‘regional advantage’, with innovative regions better able to deliver on a diverse range of national objectives as well as achieve increased global relevance. The policy implications of this is for Australia and its states to begin a ‘relationship’ with regions for mutual benefit, rather than continuing to ‘transact’ with them as a series of disconnected communities. There is a compelling business case for ongoing private and public investment in innovation for regional advantage, as this can deliver dividends across sustainable population growth, a strengthened economy and protected natural assets.


Regional Development Regional Policy Natural Resource Management Innovation Policy Regional Area 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Asheim, B., Boschma, R., & Cooke, P. (2011). Constructing regional advantage: Platform policies based on related variety and differentiated knowledge bases. Regional Studies, 45(7), 893–904.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Asheim, B., Cooke, P., & Martin, R. (Eds.). (2006). Clusters and regional development critical reflections and explorations (Regions and cities series). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Australian Water Association (AWA)., & Deloitte. (2010). State of the water sector 2010–15: Preliminary report.
  4. Australian Trade Commission (ATC). (2011). 2011 benchmark report - Australia: A wealth of opportunities, Australian government, Canberra.
  5. Beddington, J., Asaduzzaman, M., Clark, M., Fernández, A., Guillou, M., Jahn, M., et al. (2012). Achieving food security in the face of climate change: Final report from the commission on sustainable agriculture and climate change. CGIAR research program on climate change, agriculture and food security (CCAFS), Copenhagen, Denmark. Available online at:
  6. Charters, K., Vitartas, P., & Waterman, P. (2011). Identifying and communicating current issues for regional Australia. Journal of Economic and Social Policy, 14(2).Google Scholar
  7. Cooke, P. (2012). Complex adaptive innovation systems relatedness and transversality in the evolving region (p. 256). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Cooke, P. (2007). To construct regional advantage from innovation systems first build policy platforms. European Planning Studies, 15(2), 179–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Courvisanos, J. (2009). Regional innovation for sustainable development: An Australian perspective. Journal of Innovation Economics, 1(3), 119–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Daley, J., & Lancy, A. (2011). Investing in regions: Making a difference (p. 58). Melbourne: Grattan Institute.Google Scholar
  11. Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. (2009). Powering ideas: An innovation agenda for the 21st century. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.Google Scholar
  12. DIISR. (2011). Australian innovation system report 2011 (p. 168). Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Camberra.Google Scholar
  13. Dodgson, M., Hughes, A., Foster, J., & Metcalfe, JS. (2009). Systems thinking, market failure, and the development of innovation policy: The case of Australia, Centre for business research. University of Cambridge Working Paper No. 397, p. 41.Google Scholar
  14. Eslake, S., & Walsh, M. (2011). Australia’s productivity challenge. Melbourne: Grattan Institute.Google Scholar
  15. Erber, G. (2010). The design of regional innovation systems. IAREG (Intangible Assets and Regional Economic Growth) Working Paper WP6/01. Research area network economics and regulation, Department of Information society and Competition, German Institute for Economic Research, p. 19.Google Scholar
  16. Etzkowitz, H. (2008). The Triple helix – University-Industry-Government innovation inaction. New York/London: Routledge. ISBN 0-203-92960-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. European Commission. (2011). Cohesion policy 2014–2020. Research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation, factsheet, p. 7.Google Scholar
  18. Fiore, A., Grisorio, M. J., & Prota, F. (2011). Regional innovation systems: Which role for public policies and innovation agencies? Some insights from the experience of an Italian region. European Planning Studies, 19(8), 1399–1422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Geels, F. (2006). Co evolutionary and multi-level dynamics in transitions: The transformation of aviation systems and the shift from propeller to turbojet (1930–1970). Technovation, 26, 999–1016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gurran, N., Squires, C., & Blakey, E. (2006). Meeting the sea change challenge: Best practice models of local and regional planning for sea change communities in coastal Australia. Report No. 2 for the National Sea change Taskforce. The University of Sydney Planning Research Centre, Sydney.Google Scholar
  21. Heldeweg, M. A., & Kica, E. (2011). Regulating technological innovation: A multidisciplinary approach. Palgrave Macmillan, p. 248.Google Scholar
  22. Hogan, A., & Young, M. (2012). Scoping a vision for the future of rural and regional Australia, a discussion paper developed for the rural communities conference 2012. National Institute for Rural and Regional Australia, Australian National University, Canberra.Google Scholar
  23. Huigen, J. (2008). Remotefocus: Revitalizing remote Australia. Alice Springs: Desert Knowledge CRC.Google Scholar
  24. Kinnear, S., & Ogden, I. (2011b). The Central Queensland innovation prospectus. Report to the department of industry, innovation, science and research. Australia: CQ University.Google Scholar
  25. Kinnear, S., Ogden, I., & Richardson, K. (in preparation). The role of legal and regulatory frameworks in regional innovation systems – A Central Queensland case study.Google Scholar
  26. Kourtit, K., Nijkampt, P., & Stimson, B. (2011). Special issue: Innovation and creativity as the core of regional and local development policy. Regional Science Policy and Practice, 3(3), 127–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mc Call, T. (2005). Information and data gaps paper (Tasmanian vegetable taskforce report). Hobart: Tasmania Government.Google Scholar
  28. Mitra, J. (2012). Entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development (p. 341). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Ning, C., & Hoon, O. D. (2011). Sustainable development strategy of tourism resources offered by regional advantage: Exploring the feasibility of developing an ‘exotic culture’ resource for Weihai City of China. Proceedings of the 2011 international conference on green buildings and sustainable cities. Procedia Engineering 21, 543–552.Google Scholar
  30. OECD. (2011). OECD reviews of regional innovation: Regions and innovation policy. ISBN:9789264097384, Publication Date: 04/05/2011, p. 315. innovationregionsandinnovationpolicy.htm
  31. OECD. (2011). Regions and innovation policy. OECD reviews of regional innovation, OECD Publishing (p. 318),
  32. OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development). (2009). Investing for growth building innovative regions background report (p. 130). Territorial Development Policy Committee, OECD, p. 130.Google Scholar
  33. OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development). (2009b). Regions matter economic recovery, innovation and sustainable growth. OECD (p. 201), ISBN 978-92-64-07652-5 (PDF).Google Scholar
  34. Piccalauga, A. (2006). Variety and miracles for successful regional innovation policies: From ‘copy and paste’ to ‘copy and paste special’. In P. Cooke & A. Piccalauga (Eds.), Regional development in the knowledge economy (Regions and Cities, pp. 272–277). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  35. PMSEIC. (2010). Australia and food security in a changing world: Preparing for the future with foresight. Report to the Prime Minister’s science, engineering and innovation council, Canberra.Google Scholar
  36. Rodríguez-Pose, A., & Comptour, F. (2012). Do clusters generate greater innovation and growth? An analysis of European regions. The Professional Geographer, 64(2), 211–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Smith, A. (1998). Reconstructing the regional economy: Industrial transformation and regional development in Slovakia. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  38. Stoker, G. (2007). New localism, participation and networked community governance. University of Manchester, UK: Institute for Political and Economic Governance.Google Scholar
  39. Siemens. (2011). Picture the future: Australia 2030 productivity (p. 28). Siemens.Google Scholar
  40. Simmie, J. (Ed.). (1997). Innovation, networks and learning regions (Regional policy and development, Vol. 18). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers/Regional Studies Association.Google Scholar
  41. Uyarra, E. (2007). Key dilemmas of regional innovation policies. Innovation, 20(3), 243–261.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CQUniversity AustraliaRockhamptonAustralia
  2. 2.Management Solutions QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations