Australian Digital Cities Index


Why an ADCI

There are numerous “indexes” and “city rankings” of varying quality, relevance, and coverage that attempt to assist in identifying relative economic, technical, and infrastructural strengths and weaknesses.

Some are restricted just to Australia and so do not provide any guidance to Australian cities relative global capacity, some may be international but rarely reference more that the two largest Australian cities, if they reference Australia (or New Zealand) at all.

Many are produced by corporates, and may not identify data sources, the structure of analytical weightings, and intermediate (data element) rankings, as they are considered valuable I.P.

Accordingly, they become less valuable for legitimate economic analysis, and may be reduces simply to “bragging rights” rather than providing a catalyst for economic advance.

The Australian Digital Cities Index (ADCI) draws upon a defensible and independently verified pan-European methodology (EDCI). There is already a database of over 60 European cites to provide a base comparative. The EDCI index is specifically engineered to address economic advantages for start-ups, and (separately weighted), scaleups in a modern digital economy.

It will therefore deliver a defensible understandable support for analysis of Australasian cities strengths and weaknesses for economic growth, and international city comparatives that are relevant and timely.

The Australian Digital Cities Index will also be supported and maintained to retain and refresh its currency, by a reputable not-for-profit Australian headquartered research organisation CIIER, supported by NESTA, an internationally recognised European research organisation based in London.


The European Digital Cities Index (EDCI) contains composite indicators describing how well different European cities support digital entrepreneurship. The aim of the Index is to support digital entrepreneurship by providing a holistic local view across Europe by describing what ecosystem factors are most conducive to attracting and retaining digital startups. Key indicators identified in the Index relate to a variety of policy, economic, social/cultural, infrastructure and technological factors. Therefore, the project provides a dual benefit – it captures critically important data and leads to policy recommendations to advance digital innovation and entrepreneurship in cities and urban economic centres.

The EDCi is published in report form and through a website (Figure 1). The interactive website provides detailed information about the geographical coverage of the European cities that have been examined and included in the study. A total of 60 cities were included in the 2016 Index.

The Index is comprised of a number of composite indicators, or ‘themes’ that summarise the external political, economic, social and technical environment of a given city, insofar as this relates to digital entrepreneurship.

ADCI Proof of Concept

EDCi 2016 image

Each of these themes is composed of one or more factors, (mostly input, some output), and a few process variables that capture different aspects of the category. Input variables refer to the resources needed for the implementation of an activity (e.g. entrepreneurship), whereas outputs refer to the product of the activity and processes refer to variables that measure whether planned activities took place.



Nesta is our core international partner. As principle developers of the European Digital City Index, Nesta will provide expert technical support throughout the project. Nesta has offered to share the Intellectual property and methodology to execute the project and has agreed to provide expert analysis and support on how to effectively deliver the ADCI. Advice and support will include, but is not limited to, analysing data, presenting results on a website, and developing other digital interactive infographics. Nesta will also be the gateway to connecting with other international partners; especially European Union agencies.

ADCI 2019 Chart: Weighted Results by Theme

Australian and European Digital Cities Index. Attractiveness to Digital Strategy