It’s Official – Melbourne Is Australia’s Most Innovative City

12 November 2019

Melbourne was today named as Australia’s most innovative city, leapfrogging Sydney to claim 11th place overall in the annual 2thinknow Innovation Cities Global Index.

Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula welcomed the release of the index, now in its 12th year, which ranked 500 cities across the world.

Melbourne jumped from 16th place in 2018 to its new position just outside the world’s top 10, strengthening Victoria’s reputation as a leading tech hub in the Asia-Pacific. Melbourne’s rise has been even more dramatic over the life of the Andrews Labor Government ­– in 2015 the city was ranked 33rd in the world for innovation.

Melbourne’s growing reputation is built on a blooming start-up ecosystem, vibrant creative industries and world-leading enterprise in fields ranging from medtech and pharma to advanced manufacturing, foods, fibre and sport.

The Labor Government’s startup agency 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.

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.

Melbourne’s booming innovation ecosystem features numerous $1 billion-plus valuation companies including Culture Amp, REA Group, MYOB,, Aconex, Envato, PolyNovo, Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals, Airwallex and Latitude Financial.

Melbourne is also home to long-established global innovators such as biotech giant CSL, which this year announced it would move its Royal Park headquarters to a purpose-built facility in the heart of the nation’s premier biomedical precinct at Parkville.

The 2thinknow Innovation Cities Global Index is the world’s longest-running and most comprehensive report of its kind – 2thinknow was established in Melbourne in 2006 and the company’s headquarters is located in the city.

The Innovation Cities Global Index top 10 for 2019 is: 1 New York, 2 Tokyo, 3 London, 4 Los Angeles, 5 Singapore, 6 Paris, 7 Chicago, 8 Boston, 9 San Francisco/San Jose (Silicon Valley) and 10 Toronto.

Sydney dropped from 10th to 15th in the index, which rates cities on 162 indicators including start-up economy, mobility, sustainability, neighbourhoods and technology. Brisbane entered the top 50 for the first time, at 48.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula

“It’s fantastic to see Melbourne continue its rise up the ranks of the world’s most innovative cities and we’re backing ground-breaking companies to continue to do amazing things in Victoria.”

“We know that Melbourne is the home of innovation in Australia and while titles are nice, the real rewards are the growing number of jobs that our cutting-edge companies deliver for Victorians.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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