Current Projects

Home Based Business Scoping

With assistance from a UTS graduate, RDA Sydney scoped the home based business "sector" in Ku-ring-gai in partnership with Council. The objective was to see how Council and others can support these businesses as they are an important part of the economy. A roundtable discussion will be held during late April with councils from across Northern Sydney to see if it is possible to adopt a regional approach. Note that the same methodology can be used for other business sectors.

View the Ku-ring-gai report HERE

Flexible work spaces

RDA Sydney has developed an extensive knowledge of flexible workspace models being applied across greater Sydney. This knowledge has developed through ongoing discussion and partnerships over several years with experts in areas of co-working spaces, start-up hubs, community spaces and remote working strategies.  Our activity is grounded by a project we previously undertook around smart work centres in partnership with the Institute of Sustainable Futures (ISF) and local government. This was an analysis of Demand in Western Sydney for Smart Work Spaces and is now, in this post COVID-19 recovery phase, becoming relevant as we explore Work Near Home (WNH) options.

View our report HERE

View our webinar on remote working strategies HERE

View our Smart Work Centre project HERE

Read about our Telework report HERE

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

RDA Sydney has developed an extensive knowledge on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 

This knowledge has been developed through collaborations with Western Sydney University's Lauchpad. Through interviews with entrepreneurs we have gathered qualitative data on the challenges experienced by startups and how to overcome them. We are currently working on projects with Local Councils and with the University of Technology Sydney on mapping entrepreneurial ecosystems in Sydney. 

Our past projects include:



Read about them HERE

The Evolution of Procurement

RDA Sydney is working on finding new ways to make supply chains resilient to change. We are doing this by having conversations with experts in procurement and finding ways to overcome common challenges that companies face. Such as how to actively make supply chains sustainable and to how to access opportunities through such agencies as Local Government. RDA Sydney recently hosted a webinar on ‘Repositioning Local Procurement and Supplier Development for Economic Recovery’. The discussion was led by Dr. Rob Lang, Chair of RDA Sydney with topic experts Chris Newman from ArcBlue Consulting and Luke Kenny from Local Government Procurement who shared their insights with over 290 virtual participants.

View or webinar HERE

Export workshops for SMEs

RDA Sydney is working on building export capabilities among Sydney's Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The work undertaken as a partnership with the Export Council of Australia (ECA) and involved a series of workshops facilitated by subject matter expert Dianne Tipping from ECA. These workshops provided general knowledge about exporting and provided companies with clear information on steps to take to export.  

Overall, the workshops included over 100 participants and were held with the Local Councils of: The Hills, Campbelltown and Fairfield. 

View our webinar on resources and opportunities for exporters HERE

Sydney Region Data

RDA Sydney works with 33 Local Government Areas (LGA)  in Sydney, through this work it has gathered extensive data on what drives Sydney's economy and where the next opportunities lay.  In fact, one of RDA Sydney’s key roles over the years has been monitoring the economic progress of the Sydney Region, particularly in terms of value and employment. In July 2018, RDA Sydney released updated data that drills down to the ANZSIC industry and subdivision levels and geographically right down to the Local Government Area level, covering the 33 LGAs of the Sydney Region.

View information per LGA HERE.

Additionally, we have created a visual compilation of data about employment per industry across LGAs in the form of an Industry Map. View our Industry Map HERE.

Food and Agriculture Research Org. Network

RDA Sydney is involved with a number of Agribusiness projects and is convenor of the Food and Agribusiness Research Organisations Network (FARON).

Established in 2016 the network provides a collaborative platform for research institutions and industry to share ideas and problem solve. As lead convenor RDA Sydney’s role is to support and facilitate cooperation between participating institutions including Charles Sturt University, Circular NSW, Commonwealth Scientific, and Industrial Research Organisation Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre, Food Innovation Australia Limited NSW Department of Primary Industries, NSW Food Authority, NSW Office of Chief Scientist and Engineer, University of New England, University of New South Wales – Sydney University of Newcastle, University of Sydney, University Technology Sydney, Institute of Sustainable Futures, Warren Institute, Western Sydney University, University of Wollongong.


RDA Sydney is a member of the Future Food Systems CRC Liverpool Hub and a recipient of the National Landcare Program: Smart Farms Small Grants. RDA Sydney intends to build on the success of FIAL’s “Innovation Inspiration” workshops, an initiative that targeted agribusinesses in Sydney’s peri-urban region. Our goal is to establish two Communities of Practice to help land managers innovate and build resilient and profitable businesses.

RDA Sydney is supporting the implementation of the NSW Food and Beverage Manufacturing Industry Development Strategy. We are working with Cumberland Council in Western Sydney to identify SME’s and support food manufacturers and their supply chain partners.

We are also focused on innovative farming systems and have partnered with student teams from UNSW and UTS, start-ups, and Bayside Council to explore the feasibility of repurposing disused warehouses and urban service lands and establishing urban farming systems and city greening projects.

For more information please contact Julie McAlpin and for copies of previous reports and articles please see the following links:

SASA report 

Agribusiness in Greater Sydney

City Greening and Urban Agriculture

Sydney Aerospace & Defence Interest Group

RDA Sydney has developed a strong support network through its initiative the Sydney Aerospace and Defence Interest Group (SADIG) which was established in 2012. The Greater Sydney region provides an economic contribution in Defence (2014-2015) of $4.35 billion, with over 15,000 people employed. Prime contractors operating out of the Sydney metropolitan area include Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Safran, and Thales Australia.

RDA Sydney recently surveyed over 700 SADIG members and friends to seek their views on the value and usefulness of SADIG services including canvassing suggestions on new strategic directions and funding structure. If you would like to understand the Sydney Aerospace and Defence industry capabilities just click HERE. 

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