Regional Advantage and Innovation: Achieving Australia’s National Outcomes

by | Dec 5, 2012

Regional areas are key building blocks of society in many countries. This compilation uses Australian case study examples to demonstrate how regional areas are uniquely well-placed to contribute to national goals in innovation, infrastructure provision, water and food security, environmental sustainability, industry diversification, healthy and liveable communities, and natural disaster preparedness and response.

Each of these themes is examined in the context of using innovative approaches from regions to deliver outcomes that are nationally significant. Authorship is drawn from a balance of leading practitioners and academics to provide stories that are both engaging and rigorous. The case studies are contextualised by an analysis of regional advantage literature, discussion on the regional policy implications and lessons, and commentary around the key trends and drivers for innovation and regional advantage in Australia. The book provides a convincing argument that focusing on regional innovation and development offers significant benefits to a nation as a whole.

Inovact Managing Director, Brian Ramsay, has authored a chapter for the book: Catalysing regional business development through high speed broadband – opportunities and risks.

This chapter explores the effect of the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout on regional businesses. Research conducted in Tasmania by Inovact Consulting on how regional businesses are responding to broadband access provides illustrations of these opportunities and challenges being played out in the context of an increasingly interconnected global economy. The first part of the chapter examines the opportunities and challenges that the rollout of the NBN presents to regional businesses.

The research shows that broadband technology can increase internal efficiencies and harness business growth, grant geographically isolated businesses access to global supply chains and enable innovations that make entering the export market more viable.

The second part of this chapter outlines the need for businesses to initially regard the access to high speed broadband as a shock to their operating environment, and to prepare a strategy that views its advent as having potentially disruptive effects. However, once a strategy is in place to preserve and stabilise the company, it can then adopt a forward-thinking strategy for optimal leveraging of opportunities in the digital economy.


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