If Melbourne was European, would it rate as a digital innovation hub?
Melbourne outranks most major cities in Europe in terms of its appeal to digital entrepreneurs, according to new research that compares the Victorian capital to 63 major European cities.
New research conducted by the Centre for Innovative Industries Economic Research (CIIER), and funded by the .au Domain Authority (auDA), has applied the same sophisticated methodology to Melbourne as used by the renowned European Digital City Index.
The European Digital City Index, produced as part of the European Digital Forum, benchmarks how well different cities across Europe support digital entrepreneurs.
After spending months applying the Index's methodology to analyse Melbourne, CIIER can reveal the city would outrank Lyon and Frankfurt, but fall a considerable way behind Amsterdam and Helsinki.
CIIER is now seeking funding to apply the methodology to a full Australasian Digital Cities Index, so that policymakers can better understand where they may need to devote more resources.
"Australian policymakers know that making cities friendly to digital entrepreneurship is pivotal to economic success, but they need need reliable, evidence-based information to invest intelligently," said Ernest Stabek, ADCI Project Director.
"We hear a lot of subjective opinion about whether Australian cities are supportive of digital investment, but an Australasian Digital Cities Index would provide the objectivity – and global context – we sorely need.
"Understanding that Melbourne would rank 15th on a chart of major European cities is an eye-opening finding. It would be incredibly useful to policymakers to see other Australasian centres similarly ranked.
"Governments need to understand what best practice looks like and which cities need to improve. In Europe, the Digital City Index has become an invaluable tool for policymakers looking to understand and improve their cities.
“Cities ranking highly are gifted with an excellent reference to recruit yet more talent to their economies. Those on the other end of the rankings are given the impetus and examples to improve."
auDA chief executive Cameron Boardman said the development of an Australasian Digital Cities Index was incredibly important.
"Australia enjoys a terrific digital reputation internationally, with '.au' a powerful signal of security, stability, and good governance," Mr Boardman said.
"But we should also be renowned for our digital innovation and that means building on the support we give to entrepreneurs in our major cities.
"That's why auDA has been proud to support the proof of concept stage of this project. We now urge others to get behind the Australasian Digital Cities Index and make it a reality."