A living laboratory proposition for revitalising regional Australia

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Dhakal, SP, Brown, K, Keast, RL, Mahmood, MN, Weiwora, A & Dick, T 2012, 'A living laboratory proposition for revitalising regional Australia', in W Soontiens (ed.), Managing for volatility and instability: 26th Annual Australian & New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Conference, Perth, WA, 5-7 December, Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management. ISBN: 978098741580

Peer Reviewed



A strong Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector is said to underpin a competitive advantage of the Australian regions that are struggling to grow the economy, distribute the growth fairly, and in the process not degrade the environment. The concept of Regional Innovation Systems that draws on industrial cluster theory has gained currency as an umbrella framework for enabling the SMEs sector. However, there are significant gaps between research and innovation of such ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. This paper responds to this gap and proposes a Living Laboratory – an open multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder action research platform where innovations can be co-created, tested, and evaluated in the every-day environment of SME – as a way to strengthen the SMEs sector in regional Australia.