Yass Valley among innovation leaders

Yass Valley has been labelled an innovation leader in an index by the University of Canberra and the Regional Australia Institute. Photo: Yass Tribune
Yass Valley has been labelled an innovation leader in an index by the University of Canberra and the Regional Australia Institute. Photo: Yass Tribune

Yass Valley has been found to be one of 49 regional areas in Australia that scored highly in an innovation index developed by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) and the University of Canberra.

The results, published on September 21 at The Conversation, is based on mapping the national spread of two key areas: research and development (R&D) and ‘business dynamo’.

The business dynamo factor focuses on startup rates, trademarks and the number of business to business services while R&D concentrates on technical expertise and the number of applications for patents.

Yass Valley was ranked 78 out of 563 local government areas. The only other areas in Southern NSW and ACT to rank higher were Palerang (51st) and ACT (15th).

All three secured the status of ‘innovation leaders’.

Michael Pilbrow, president of Yass Valley Business Chamber, said one of reasons the chamber and the broader Yass Valley business community are vibrant is that there are many innovative businesses “emerging and making their mark”.

So many people in the Yass Valley are taking risks and having a go at putting their ideas out into the marketplace, not just in the local area but also nationally.

Michael Pilbrow, president of Yass Valley Business Chamber

“So many people in the Yass Valley are taking risks and having a go at putting their ideas out into the marketplace, not just in the local area but also nationally.

“Best of all, our innovative local businesses are providing local jobs and contributing to the life of the Yass Valley community,” Mr Pilbrow said

Kim Houghton, adjunct association professor at the University of Canberra and general manager of policy and research at RAI, said that Yass Valley was an area that “combine a local business network with a high rate of trademark applications”.

“This suggests that existing businesses in these places are innovating successfully.”

While the index found that cities were Australia’s key innovation assets, this was mainly due to them having more registered R&D institutions compared with regional areas.

Yass Valley also was ranked at 68 in ‘labour market efficiency’.

The Regional Australia Institute is an independent nonprofit think tank funded by Commonwealth and State Governments.