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How Brisbane firms are breaking the mould

25 Oct 2013

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of Brisbane businesses surveyed in the 2012 Brisbane Innovation Scorecard have made at least one significant innovation in the past three years.

The third annual Brisbane Innovation Scorecard also reveals that of those businesses which are innovating, three-quarters (78%) are pioneering ideas entirely new to their industry.

The Scorecard, the only city-based annual innovation benchmarking project in the world, is a collaboration between UQ Business School and a number of other agencies. This year’s Scorecard was launched on Friday, 17 August 2012 at a lunch event at The Sebel & Citigate hosted by Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and at which Professor Andrew Griffiths, Dean of UQ Business School, was one of the key speakers.

The lunch heard that businesses in manufacturing, professional scientific and technical services and media and telecommunications were the top innovators, with more than 50% of innovations reported from those sectors.

Larger businesses with 20 or more employees were four times more likely than smaller firms to develop new ideas of value. However it was not clear whether size limits innovation, because smaller firms don’t have the resources to pursue new ideas, or whether the lack of innovation restricts a company’s growth.

Businesses operating in international markets indicated higher levels of ‘new to industry’ innovation. The Scorecard also revealed that many businesses innovated to improve efficiency.

The Scorecard used data from a survey of 301 firms in Greater Brisbane and data about Brisbane businesses extracted from the wider Queensland Business Survey, which is carried out by UQ Business School and the Queensland State Government.

Professor Griffiths said UQ Business School, which is renowned for its research, had played a key role in ensuring the Scorecard was based on robust data and that it gave a true picture about innovation in Brisbane.

He said: “The Scorecard clearly indicates that companies are feeling the benefits of innovation. In particular it’s good to see the existence of a significant number of innovation pioneers within Brisbane – companies which are breaking the mould in their industry by pursuing novel ideas – and that some businesses have succeeded in adopting a culture of innovation right across the board.

“While the report contains a number of lessons, for example how collaboration between different partners can help ideas to flourish and the potential of digital technology to improve efficiency and open up new markets, it also explodes some common myths. It shows innovation is not just about IT – equally it can be about new way to organise your activities or an imaginative new business model. Nor is it something only for big companies. Innovation is a way for firms of all sizes to achieve new prosperity and growth.”

John Aitken, Chief Executive Officer of the city’s economic development agency Brisbane Marketing, said Brisbane was strengthening its reputation as an enabler of innovation. He said: “This Scorecard provides a valuable insight into the way Brisbane businesses use innovation as a key to success and growth.

“It allows us all to learn about how we too can be more adventurous, fresh and creative with the way we operate.”

The Brisbane Innovation Scorecard is a collaboration between UQ Business School, Brisbane Marketing, Deloitte, Brisbane City Council, DEEDI (Queensland Government), Enterprise Connect (Australian Government) and Regional Development Australia (Brisbane).

For further information or to view the 2012 Brisbane Innovation Scorecard, visit http://www.enablebrisbane.com.au/Scorecard

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