Canberra is a thriving hub of knowledge-based activity. Ten percent of Australia’s public sector research and development is undertaken in the ACT. Our universities, the CSIRO and Government agencies are all leading the knowledge creation agenda. Our challenge lies in commercialising these opportunities locally and reaping full benefit for the broader community.
The Defence industry is important to Canberra, and as home to Duntroon and ADFA, sees many of the nation’s Defence leaders pass through its doors.
There is a substantial wine industry around Canberra and a light-manufacturing sector in Queanbeyan.
The manufacturing industry is undergoing substantial change with the emergence of digital manufacture and the demise of the factory as the locus of activity. Manufacturing is no longer driven by the concept of the large factory, economies of scale, and mass production of standardised units. Quality, speed of delivery, and post sales service are more important drivers than price.
As a centre of government and public administration, Canberra is ‘information rich’. It has the largest installation of mainframe computer capacity in the country and provides employment for a large number of ICT employees, contractors and service providers.
Canberra has been the base for the development and growth of a number of ICT software and services businesses (Intelledox, Tower, etc). These enterprises provide a model of entrepreneurship and ability to meet, and lead, public sector requirements.