This paper examines the role of Economic Development Officers (EDOs) in implementing policies aimed at assisting businesses to grow as a strategy of regional growth. Page’s (2006) policy framework (principles, policy lines, measures and practices) is used to examine the issues with implementation.

The strongest theme emerging from the findings is that the business owner/managers were very dissatisfied with the processes involved in applying for funding; the instruments, although, most suggested that they were more satisfied once the funding arrived. The business owner/managers identified public departments working as independent “silos”, the maze of bureaucracies and the long lead times as significant problems. Such findings provide a plausible reason to explain why Australian businesses have such a low take up of government programs aimed at promoting innovation via a collaboration strategy.