Melbourne has been named as Australia’s most innovative city, ranking globally at 11th place, and two spots down from the home of Silicon Valley which came in at 9th spot.
The annual 2thinknow Innovation Cities Global Index, which measures innovation and ranks 500 cities across the world, has seen the Victorian capital move up five places on the index since last year.
The index rates cities on 162 indicators including start-up economy, mobility, sustainability, neighbourhoods and technology.
Melbourne ranked in at 16th place in 2018, and 33rd in 2015.
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“Our index is designed to measure innovation conditions, and often predicts rising cities before other rankings,” 2thinknow director Christopher Hire said.
“It is up to the city whether they can keep on top of the latest trends, and exploit their innovation potential. Cities that place well every year do that, which is not as simple as it sounds for urban areas to adapt and transform.
“We found that there is a real split between cities and regions with urbanisation driving innovation.
“Although concerns about equitable growth remain and are growing every day, this is repairable by better policy settings,” Hire said.
Melbourne is home to a number of $1 billion-plus valuation companies including REA Group, MYOB, CarSales.com.au, Aconex, Envato, PolyNovo, Culture Amp, and Latitude Financial.
The city is also home to biotech giant CSL, which this year announced it would move its headquarters from Royal Park to a purpose-built facility in the biomedical precinct at Parkville.
Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula said Melbourne had strengthened its reputation as a “leading tech hub in the Asia-Pacific”.
“While titles are nice, the real rewards are the growing number of jobs that our cutting-edge companies deliver,” Pakula said.
Sydney dropped from 10th to 15th in the index, while Brisbane became the third Australian city to enter the global top fifty cities for the first time, ranking at 48th place.
Eleven of the top twenty urban centres of the Index were in the United States, with Chicago entering the top five for the first time.
“However, there were quite dramatic movements by cities up and down all across the USA, and globally as well -- highlighting strong volatility and shortening the time window for commercialising new ideas,” Hire said.