The City of Gold Coast is committed to the development of a diverse and knowledge intensive competitive economy, and over the years have implemented a number of innovation programmes directly, or in collaboration with industry, academia and the Queensland State Government.
However, like other local governments it has been difficult to fully articulate direct economic value add of these programmes to the city economy, due issues such as data capture and the multi-year process of firstly capturing ideas for innovation, the development of these ideas into a start-up companies and their eventual commercial success.
Working with The Future Cities Institute, the Gold Coast City Council identified the need to be able to benchmark innovation centres and programs not only locally on the Gold Coast, but centres and cities internationally. In particular the economic development unit of the Gold Coast City Council wanted to provide the Mayor, Councillors and senior executive with a dashboard that:
- Articulated the Economic Value Add of Innovation Centres, Incubators and Co-Working Spaces on the Gold Coast.
- Gave insights into the possible economic value add of such hi-tech as software applications (apps) built in the local economy
- Assisted in the identification of high potential start-ups as part of our regular business development programme as an economic development agency.
The decision to partner with The Future Cities Institute brought not only experience and capabilities in innovation patterns and practices for city eco-systems, it also brought deep relationships with technology partners such as Microsoft and its global network of Microsoft Innovation Centres for benchmarking and access to international markets for our start-ups.