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Melbourne is Australia’s most innovative city

Australian innovation cities – The most innovative city in Australia? Melbourne.

The announcement that Melbourne has been named as Australia’s most innovative city in the 2019 2thinknow Innovation Cities Global Index is likely to escalate the longstanding rivalry between Australia’s two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne.

Ranked 16th in the 2018 2thinknow Innovation Cities Global Index, Melbourne has now leapfrogged Sydney (which fell from 10th to 15th place) to become the 11th most innovative city worldwide.

Launch Vic

The Victorian State Government was quick to attribute at least some of this success to the Government’s start-up agency, LaunchVic.

Victorian Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula, stated that LaunchVic has played “an important role in Melbourne’s tech boom, supporting and funding early-stage startups and scaleups which have contributed to significant expansion in the innovation ecosystem”.

Minister Pakula’s office stated that “LaunchVic has backed 386 companies and more than 4,800 entrepreneurs by providing mentorships, accelerator programs, bootcamps and other support for early-stage businesses to reach their full potential”.

Innovation Globally – where does Australia stack up?

With no Australian cities listed in the Innovation Cities Global Index top 10 for 2019, and only Sydney and Melbourne in the global top 40, the Australian innovation landscape clearly has significant opportunities for improvement.

Australia’s most innovative cities according to the index are as follows:

Global Rank Change
(against 2018 rank)
11 +5 Melbourne
15 -5 Sydney
48 +6 Brisbane
101 +4 Perth
154 +9 Adelaide
160 -8 Canberra
214 -16 Gold Coast
290 -26 Hobart
293 +16 Newcastle
310 -48 Wollongong
313 +13 Geelong
384 -28 Bendigo
388 -34 Ballarat


Inter-city rivalry aside, the 2019 results of the 2thinknow Innovation Cities Global Index demonstrates that Australia has a real opportunity to be taken seriously as a global innovation economy.

With the focus of the 2thinknow Innovation Cities Global Index indicators on measuring infrastructure, environmental and technical factors that support innovation. Government at all levels must work cooperatively to identify opportunities for improvement. Ensuring its planning policies are aligned.

Through focusing on targeted factors that support and enable innovation, such as the Federal Government’s R&D Tax Incentive program, Australian cities and regional communities will be better equipped to foster innovation and drive future economic growth.

Top Ten Innovative Cities globally

The top ten most innovative cities globally as measured by the index are listed in the table below.

Global Rank Change
(against 2018 rank)
City Country
1 +3 New York United States
2 -1 Tokyo Japan
3 -1 London United Kingdom
4 +1 Los Angeles United States
5 +1 Singapore Singapore
6 +3 Paris France
7 +4 Chicago United States
8 -1 Boston United States
9 -6 San Francisco – San Jose United States
10 -2 Toronto Canada


The Innovation Cities™ Indexes uses 162 city indicators to measure cities’ conditions for innovation, designed to cover all critical economic, industry and social functions of a city necessary to enable innovation, including mobility and transport, arts and culture, start-ups and entrepreneurs, technology and communications, to name a few.

If you’d like to discuss how to boost your business’ innovation, contact the BridgePoint Group Government Grants & Incentives team on 1300 656 141.


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Alan Baghdasarayan
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