The evaluation was completed by the Nous Group in 2022 and builds on the findings of the first macro-level evaluation. It considers all programs and activities, as well as inter-linkages between programs and outcomes at a system-wide level, and is the first economic impact assessment of Advance Queensland.
The key aims were to:
- examine the relevance and reach of the Advance Queensland initiative in addressing recognised needs and priorities
- assess the effectiveness of the Advance Queensland initiative in achieving the intended strategic objectives, vision and contribution to building Queensland’s knowledge economy
- assess the efficiency (value for money) of the Advance Queensland initiative in delivering outcomes, specifically focusing on technical (delivery at lowest cost) and allocative (meeting greatest needs within set resources) efficiencies
- assess the economic outcomes of the Advance Queensland initiative towards Queensland’s knowledge economy
- identify lessons learnt about government investment in innovation driven growth, opportunities for future government intervention and investment and contribution to the development of best practice guidelines.
The evaluation was overseen by a working group comprising officers from Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport (DTIS), Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC) and Queensland Treasury, Office of the Queensland Government Statistician, Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning (DSDILGP), Department of Environment and Science (DES).
Consultation was also conducted through interviews and focus group meetings with the Innovation Advisory Council, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business and Innovation Reference Group members, Advance Queensland implementing agencies and innovation ecosystem stakeholders
Key findings and opportunities
Findings and opportunities were developed based on literature reviews, analysis of program data, publicly available and restricted data, survey results, as well as stakeholder engagement through interviews and focus groups.
The evaluation found that Advance Queensland contributed to growth and productivity of Queensland’s knowledge economy and is helping support the diversification of Queensland’s economy.
Key findings include:
- Reach: Advance Queensland reached all intended key stakeholder categories, including startups, small to medium enterprises, female, Indigenous and regional innovators.
- Effectiveness: Advance Queensland contributed to the growth and productivity of Queensland’s knowledge economy and is helping support the diversification of Queensland’s economy.
- Efficiency: Advance Queensland provided a positive return on investment, with an estimated benefit to cost ratio of at least 1.6 – for every $1 invested directly through the initiative, a return of at least $1.60 in economic benefits is being realised.
It was recognised Advance Queensland funding had not been fully expended and there is often a lag between implementation of innovation programs and the associated outcomes, further impacts are expected beyond those reported by the evaluation.
The report also provided opportunities for the Queensland Government to define future innovation priorities, government intervention and investment and contribute to the development of best practice guidelines.
The findings and opportunities informed the development of the Advance Queensland - Innovation for a Future Economy Roadmap 2022-23 and will be considered as part of ongoing program design and implementation.