Project Title: The 'smart state' - building a knowledge economy in Queensland since the 1990s

Principal Advisor: Professor Peter Spearritt

Project Abstract: The Beattie Government’s ‘Smart State’ strategy positioned state-sponsored research, innovation and industry development as central to Queensland’s economic diversification for the better part of a decade. During this time, unprecedented public funds (leveraging huge private and philanthropic capital) were invested in attracting hi-tech businesses to Queensland; boosting the state’s education and training systems; and increasing the research capacity of the state’s leading universities and institutes, building upon similar policy ventures of previous governments. My project highlights the outcomes of state intervention over the last twenty years in the growth of various industry sectors and fields of medical and scientific research, focusing on the once-ubiquitous ‘Smart State’ agenda. Through comprehensive documentary research and interviews with senior state politicians and policy-makers, the thesis presents an historical account of the state government’s strategic role in the development of a ‘knowledge economy’ in Queensland.

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