Research on Policy Making vs. Policy Research published

Building on research I have done in 2016 at UNSW Business School in Sydney, Australia, my case study about the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Sydney and the regional government’s policy initiatives to nurture the high-growth startup economy has been published as a chapter in the book “Economic Gardening – Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Small Business Ecosystems in Regional, Rural and International Development” as part of their SEAANZ Research Book Series.

economic gardening
economic gardening

The case study was first presented as a peer reviewed article at ACERE Conference (Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange) in Melbourne, Australia, in February 2017 and analyses the City of Sydney’s Tech Startup Action Plan a comprehensive document created in collaboration with entrepreneurial ecosystem stakeholders as well as industry consulting entities over a period of at least 5 years. The plan was adopted by Council in June 2016 and builds on premises such as links between entrepreneurship and economic growth:

“Encouraging tech startups will create more jobs, boost Sydney’s economy, strengthen global connections and make the city a more desirable place to live, work and visit. Our tech startups action plan details how we will work with industry and government partners to create an environment that enables technology entrepreneurs to start and grow successful global businesses.”

Source: City of Sydney – Tech Startups

The updated and final version of the paper was now published as “Policy Making Versus Policy Research: The Case of the City of Sydney’s Tech Startups Action Plan” and is also available on Researchgate.

Entrepreneurship Policy Case Study: City of Sydney’s Tech Startups Action Plan

During my time at UNSW in 2016, I worked on a case study to review Sydney’s entrepreneurship policy approach. The case study was presented in February 2017 as a peer reviewed paper at the ACERE Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

ACERE
Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange

In reviewing the City of Sydney’s Tech Startups Action Plan, a comprehensive document, outlining the city’s strategy towards the entrepreneurial ecosystem and measures undertaken to stimulate its growth, several disconnects between entrepreneurship policy and academic research findings have been discovered:

“Abstract: Public policy can shift the economic composition of a region. Many policy makers promote entrepreneurship under the assumption of a link between new ventures and economic growth and job creation. While this link is hotly debated in scientific literature, this literature and evidence base does not necessarily inform public policy. This project explores the (dis)connection between municipal innovation policy and the academic literature, using the City of Sydney’s recent Tech Startups Action Plan as a case study. This paper makes four contributions. First, comparison of the first and second parts of the review reveals several disconnects between the plan and the literature on entrepreneurship policy. Second, the origins of these disconnections are traced back to how relevant scientific findings had not been considered in the composition of the Tech Startups Action Plan. Third, this review reveals further deficiencies regarding the plan’s proposed implementation. More specifically, although the plan attempts to consider the entire ecosystem and its challenges, and introduces metrics to track the ecosystem’s growth, the plan lacks concrete implementation methods. Overall, this plan exemplifies challenges in developing municipal entrepreneurial policy. As a fourth contribution, this paper proposes means for closer collaboration between the research community and policy makers.”

Source: Recke, M. P., Bliemel, M., 2016. The City of Sydney’s Tech Startups Action Plan: A Policy Review.

The peer reviewed paper was used as a basis for further development of the research as well as for a similar case study of the innovation policy in Hamburg, Germany, and its impact on the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Impressions From Sydney

In February 2016 I moved to Sydney to do entrepreneurial research at the Business School of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) while working on some projects in Germany remotely. With mostly sunny days, awesome beaches and so much to explore, it turns out to be quite a challenge to focus on the work at hand. I didn’t travel that much yet, since I am still amazed by the feel of living here. I rented a waterfront place in Elizabeth Bay with an amazing view and can’t wait to look outside every time I wake up.

The city reminds me of both San Francisco and Los Angeles in many ways. The hills, architecture, harbour settings and vibes are very similar to San Francisco but still the city is very much spread out in huge suburbs which often resemble my memories of Los Angeles (but with an abundance of sidewalks as a contrast).

Australia just reached a population of just over 24 million, in fact on the exact same day I arrived, 15 February 2016. The vast majority of people live in cities ( 89.2% to be precise) and on the coast. Among many things, this calls for a sophisticated and working public transport system… something Sydney is certainly underperforming at.

Still I managed to explore the city and took some photos while at it:

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I am going to Sydney for a few months

2016 might certainly turn out to be a year with lots of new beginnings, so I am excited. Starting in February, I will be living in Sydney for a few months. Although Sydney is arguably one of the most distant places from Hamburg, I am looking forward to escaping the winter in Europe. My first stop will be Bondi Beach. I suppose it is not a bad place to start. With temperatures around 27° C (81° F) and lots of time on my hands, it will certainly be a trip to be remembered.

While doing some research at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and working on some projects remotely, I plan to travel around Oceania to make the most out of the trip. So if you have any tips for me about what definitely needs to be on my list, please let me know below, on foursquare or send me an email.

Thank you!

trip tips on foursquare