Tasmania’s Bioeconomy: Employing the Seven Capitals to Sustain Innovative and Entrepreneurial Agrifood Value Chains

Tasmania, Australia’s southernmost and smallest island state, depends strongly on its bioeconomy. Currently the farm gate production of Tasmania’s bioeconomy contributes around 7.4% to the overall Gross State Product (GSP). This figure is considerably higher than for Australia, where the bioeconomy contributes 2.5% to the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Based on this measure, Tasmania’s economy is more in line with the economies of Brazil (5.7%) or New Zealand (7.2%). It is estimated that Tasmania’s bioeconomy currently contributes 16–20% of overall economic output, when taking into account the economic impact of related value chains that reach from agricultural suppliers to retailers. Government policy for economic growth in Tasmania aims to build up this sector over the following decades. To achieve the stated growth targets, technologies must be combined with business capabilities in order to effectively and efficiently commercialize innovation while maintaining sound environmental practices. A techology-driven, irrigation-led transformation is currently underway in the state, turning Tasmania’s bioeconomy into a highly knowledge-intensive sector of the economy. To fully realize the economic, environmental and social potential of investment in irrigation infrastructure, there must be similar investments in research, knowledge creation, marketing, value chain innovations and capability development.

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Holger Meinke
Laurie Bonney
Katherine Evans
Morgan Miles
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