Rearticulating the creative industries-STEM relationship: the case of innovation precincts in South Australia

Stuart Cunningham, Marion McCutcheon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


There is a fraught history to the relationship between creative industries policy and programs on the one hand, and on the other, innovation and entrepreneurship policy and programs, which have rarely been inclusive of creative industries, although there are developments which run counter to this neglect. But structural changes to modern economies mean that innovation policy needs to shift to accommodate creative industries. The article reviews some of the problems associated with that shift, and notes that a major innovation lever used by governments—precinct or cluster development—has had a mixed record when applied to culture. A focus on one site—Adelaide, South Australia—demonstrates that progress can be made when a clear vision is articulated of the integral role that creative industries can play in innovation policies for economic growth and infrastructure support. Six precincts in inner-urban Adelaide—ranging from pure arts to advanced manufacturing—interact to produce additionality rather than simply aggregation, enacting a productive ecosystem for both creative industries and STEM. The precincts ecology enhances practical creative entrepreneurship, acts as a conduit for the movement of talent as it seeks greater challenge and opportunity, disrupts existing norms in innovation practice; and facilitates access to new markets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-41
Number of pages20
JournalCreative Industries Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


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