19-22 September, 2023
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GEC 2023: Exploring Australia’s Innovation Ecosystem

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From global cities to remote outback towns, Australia’s innovation ecosystem is thriving with a diversity of ideas and approaches.

Australia is renowned for its natural beauty and unique wildlife. It’s also home to a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

There’s no shortage of exciting developments happening across the country. Read on to explore the unique characteristics that make each state and territory a hub for innovation.

Photo by Dmitry Osipenko on Unsplash


The Victorian innovation ecosystem is home to more than 2,650 startups and has a growing $23.6 billion early-stage ecosystem valuation as of 2022

The state sectors of focus include agtech, healthtech, sportstech, SaaS, fintech, and advanced manufacturing, but it’s the life sciences and biotech sector where innovation really comes alive.  

Delegates visiting Melbourne can explore world-renowned precincts such as the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct and Melbourne Connect, where researchers, government, industry, SMEs, startups, higher degree students, and artists meet at the nexus of innovation. 

Melbourne also hosts top ranking universities for research and innovation, including Melbourne University, Swinburne University, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), LaTrobe University, and Monash University.

Regional Victoria is home to thriving towns where enterprise and innovation compete in a global market. For example, Bendigo is Australia’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy and home to manufacturing, fintech, artificial intelligence, creative hubs and much more. Find out more about post-GEC tours to this region.

Photo by Steven Wei on Unsplash

New South Wales 

New South Wales (NSW) is Australia’s financial and fintech capital. The city of Sydney is home to 80% of foreign banks operating in Australia, eight of the nation’s largest fund managers, and most of its financial services regulators.  

It’s the perfect spot for the nation’s fintech startups to take advantage of the enhanced regulatory sandbox to test the market and opportunities to participate in Asia-Pacific market expansion programs. 

Delegates will find many of these fintech companies operating out of the newly developed Tech Central district, an innovation mecca made up of six neighbourhoods close to the centre of Sydney. 

Photo by Mikael Andreasson on Unsplash

South Australia 

The South Australian innovation ecosystem includes a number of precincts around the city of Adelaide that specialise in biotech, manufacturing and cyber technologies

However, it’s the state’s world renown wine region, an hour outside of Adelaide, that offers something truly special for entrepreneurs.

The region is home to Foment, a tech accelerator and incubator for the wine and tourism sectors. Startups based here aim to speed up tech adoption by wine and tourism businesses to make them more competitive, profitable, and more likely to reach new markets around the world.

Photo by paul walker on Unsplash

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory (NT) is famous for its rugged landscapes and rich indigenous culture, but its innovation capabilities are also making a big impression across the globe.

The Darwin Innovation Hub is a collaborative incubator that’s home to startups in the fields of space (it’s integrated with the state’s launch capability) and advanced manufacturing, where they’ve developed the technology behind the world’s fastest metal 3D printer.  

Elsewhere, the Darwin H2 Hub is designed to help local and international companies decarbonise through the use of green hydrogen and facilitate new industries in a net-zero economy.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash


Queensland is home to a diverse innovation ecosystem, with opportunities to engage in natural capital, food and agriculture, health and life sciences, and mining and resources.

The state is unique in that half of the population lives outside the capital city of Brisbane. Delegates visiting Queensland can hear first-hand about the experience of delivering a regional engagement program, with initiatives like Queensland Connects designed to develop innovation ecosystems in regional communities.

An additional focus for the state is engaging the innovation ecosystem in preparations to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Photo by Philippe Wuyts on Unsplash

Western Australia 

It’s only fitting that Australia’s most expansive state has an innovation ecosystem to match.

Western Australia has diverse strengths in food and agriculture, tourism and lifestyle, and health and life sciences, but it’s the mining sector that offers the most for delegates.  

Delegates can engage with the sector through initiatives including the state government Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia, the resource-sector focused CORE Innovation Hub, the University of Western Australia Mining Innovation Network, and multi-national resources companies based in Perth.

Photo by Lochlainn Riordan on Unsplash


The Tasmanian innovation ecosystem focuses on high value food and agriculture, clean and renewable energy and tourism and lifestyle. 

The University of Tasmania recently ranked number one in the world on climate action and Tasmania is one of the regions in the world to become carbon negative. The state government is investing in food and agriculture innovation to drive the sector towards a target $10 billion industry by 2050. 

Photo by Social Estate on Unsplash

The Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) tourism is known for its political and cultural significance as the nation’s capital. 

This unique position lends a heavy innovation focus to areas such as cyber security and defence, with the highest concentration of national security agencies. 

Delegates will be guided through the ACT innovation ecosystem in Canberra by the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN), a collaborative body supported by government, university, and industry. 

We hope you enjoyed that whip-around of Australia’s innovation ecosystem and are already pencilling-in some destinations on your itinerary.

Don’t forget to register now to secure your ticket to GEC2023 and transform your world.

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