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Gippsland’s Smart Specialisation Strategy

Connecting Gippsland – Local and Global

Building on our region’s strengths

Gippsland’s Smart Specialisation Strategy project is designing a place-based, long-term approach for the Gippsland region to become a more sustainable economy and cohesive community.

It uses expertise and best practice examples from the European Union’s Smart Specialisation Strategy initiative, which has been applied and refined over two decades to a wide variety of regions, and applies them to Gippsland’s unique environment.

The process builds on existing regional initiatives and involves government, business, research, education, and the wider local community in designing a shared vision for the future competitiveness and social wellbeing of the region. In the process, it connects Gippsland’s local context with the evolving national and international economic environment.

With an initial focus on the horticulture and food industry, the project is examining the region’s current strengths with the aim of creating new networks and linkages to stimulate long term change and new ways of operating. It will look at how Gippsland’s future industries such as food, health, new energy, advanced manufacturing and logistics connect and can develop competitive advantages locally and globally.

By drawing on experiences elsewhere in the world, project participants are thinking creatively about ways to meet present and future needs through new business models, services, technology and collaborative practices.

The end result of the project will be an integrated agenda that sets out the local projects and infrastructure that will translate the agreed new ideas and opportunities into action on the ground.

The project is being facilitated by a team from the University of Melbourne and RMIT, and guided by a Steering Committee comprising of representatives from all community sectors in Gippsland.

The project involves the following steps:

  1. Analysis of how the sectors in Gippsland currently function
  2. An engagement process to better understand the region’s strengths, and future opportunities and potential
  3. A collaborative design process to develop a shared vision for the future (the Smart Specialisation Strategy)
  4. Prioritising projects and activities to begin implementing the strategy
  5. Monitoring and evaluation of programs