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Locking in the benefits of a thriving innovation sector


The NSW Innovation and Productivity Council has outlined a set of recommendations to gain more value from the state’s thriving innovation sector and to better measure the effectiveness of government support.

While the report finds that innovation ecosystems help lower the risks for startups, there’s much more to do when it comes to understanding effective ways to support them.

Accelerating NSW: the impact of coworking spaces, accelerators, incubators, and startup hubs (CAISH entities) finds that NSW is already the centre of the nation’s startup economy.

Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology Anoulack Chanthivong said the report was a welcome contribution.

“We have a thriving community of innovators and their supporters in NSW, with a 325 per cent increase since 2013.

“NSW now has a vibrant ecosystem of innovators.

“Not enough has been done to measure their value or to examine if there are more cost-effective ways to support this part of the economy.

“While the NSW Government wants to support an environment that lets entrepreneurs learn and grow, it’s important that we can be confident that the infrastructure and programs are delivering results.

“We look forward to working with the sector to build an evidence base that measures the effectiveness of public and private interventions in this space.”

The framework can be applied to NSW Government funded programs and CAISH entities and will be integrated into the Council’s NSW Innovation and Productivity Scorecard to provide estimates on the value of CAISH entities to the NSW economy.

Council Chair Charlie Taylor said that despite significant growth in startups and support organisations over the last two decades, there is limited understanding of their impact and value to the economy.

“For the first time ever, we’ve been able to map all of NSW’s CAISH entities, and through the 64 interviews and 27 case studies conducted for the report, paint a comprehensive picture of the state’s CAISH ecosystem,” Mr Taylor said.

“Using the new framework developed by the Council in partnership with experts from the University of Technology Sydney, we can utilise data to measure the impact of these entities and their programs, to effectively measure their success and identify areas for potential improvement.”

The Council report can be viewed online.

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