<b>The Hon. Katy Gallagher MLA</b>

ACT Chief Minister's Foreword

Australia’s capital is proudly a capital of creativity and culture. We are relatively small in size, but we are big on knowledge. We ‘punch above our weight’ when it comes to ideas and innovation.

We live in a city with a highly educated and inventive population. Canberra is home to world-class researchers, a vibrant business community and a host of national cultural institutions.

Canberra is home to some of the nations’ leading education and research organisations including CSIRO, the Australian National University, the University of Canberra and NICTA, the National Information and Communications Technology Centre of Excellence.

In an increasingly competitive world, we recognise the importance of knowledge and innovation to our economy and we are investing in the skills and infrastructure needed for the future. Innovative businesses and education and research organisations are major employers in the ACT. In supporting innovation we are supporting jobs.

Innovation is a foundation of our future competitiveness and development. It is key to maintaining our high standard of living, because we know that innovative economies see quicker growth and are simply more productive.

Canberra’s innovation capability spreads across a broad range of industry sectors including ICT, space sciences, health, defence, security, and the creative industries.

The ACT Government believes that our economy is well placed because of the investments we are making today in our people, our support for business and innovation and through careful planning for the future. We remain a major centre for research and teaching with links to leading research institutions around the world and we intend to remain so.

Innovation is a collaborative process. Business, research organisations, the community and government need to continue to work closely together to stimulate the research, education and business sectors.

The 2013 Innovation Festival is a fantastic opportunity to share the stories of locally developed initiatives, bring the key players together and show what a truly creative capital we are.

We should be immensely proud of the leading role we play within the region and I commend the efforts of those who contribute to realizing our full creative potential.