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Assembling proximity: innovation precincts as catalyst and persistence

Kathryn Anderson


As Australia’s industrial base shifted away from automotive manufacturing and its associated industries, new sites for the development and support of innovation and entrepreneurship emerged in urban settings across the country. The concept of the innovation precinct is written into policy at all tiers of government in Australia. Investment into innovation precincts takes in both public and private monies. It engages with stakeholders from the individual entrepreneur to public institutions to multinationals. But little research addresses the micro or meso-level of interactions and influences that play out their success or otherwise. This paper traces the trajectory for innovation precincts in Australia thus far and explores the factors and forces that compose them. It then provides insights into the role that innovation precincts play to catalyse economic change and what elements assist in their coherence and persistence.