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2017 Innovation Ecosystems: Study Mission to Italy and the Netherlands

3 - 12 April 2017

With Australia's current innovation agenda focused mostly on commercialisation of university research and linking universities to industry, an effective innovation agenda must take into account the different roles that diverse partners and institutions play in a true innovation eco-system. In this respect, Australia can learn from a number of European countries and regions where enterprises, government and tertiary institutions collaborate to foster innovation and entrepreneurial commercial activity to build new prosperity

This study mission is about exploring a select number of these innovation eco-systems, and understanding the complex interrelationships between the parties and the socio-economic landscape in which they operate.

Where will this mission go?

Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Historically home to Philips, one of the world’s leading electronics and technology company, and a number of large manufacturers, the city has successfully transformed itself into a knowledge economy through initiatives such as the Brainport cooperation between local government, industry and the Eindhoven University of Technology, and the High Tech Campus, a centre with more than 140 companies and institutions focusing on R&D. Our time in Eindhoven will be spent exploring these important players within the Eindhoven innovation eco-system.


Enschede, The Netherlands

Located in the East of The Netherlands, Enschede is a former centre of textile production which has now become a regional hub for innovation. A major contributing factor for this transformation is the city’s tertiary education institutions, including the University of Twente (Universiteit Twente) and the Saxion University of Applied Science (Saxion Hogenschool Enschede). The time in Enschede will be spent learning about the two universities’ entrepreneurial initiatives, and how their interdependencies and the role of government have helped turn the region’s fortunes around.


Milan, Italy

Milan is the industrial and financial centre of Italy, but is also a global city known for its arts, fashion, design, healthcare, education and research. It is home to a large number of domestic and international companies thanks to the city’s entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit. During our stop here we will be exploring how the city’s companies, universities, non-profit and governmental institutions work together to create their innovation eco-system.

Refer to the provisional program for more details on planned activities in each city.


Delegates will:

  • Learn and understand the models and drivers behind the innovation eco-systems
  • Discuss with and explore in detail with members of the systems the practicalities and opportunities
  • Gain valuable insights, and first hand experience
  • Build valuable networks with other Australian Tertiary Education Institutions, Departmental and Peak Body
  • Bring back new ways of working with partners, with a view to establish innovation eco-systems in Australia.

Who should attend?

Senior leaders within tertiary education institutions; those in roles such as or equivalent to:

  • University Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Dean
  • Institute or college CEO, Managing Director and Executive Director
  • Departmental leader within state and Commonwealth governments
  • Strategic policy makers
  • Representatives of peak bodies for education and industry.


A$8,500 + GST.

The above fee includes accommodation for 11 nights accommodation, meals, transfers (including inter-city) and activities during the official program. Participants must organise and cover their own travel to and from Europe. 


This study mission is led by:

Associate Professor Ruth Schubert
Associate Director, LH Martin Institute

Professor Leo Goedegebuure
Director, LH Martin Institute

More information

For queries about this study mission please contact:

Dina Uzhegova
Program Officer
+61 3 8344 3087

See also: our one-day workshop on Creating Effective Innovation Ecosystems

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