The Sunshine Coast is an urban area
in South East Queensland, north of the
state capital of Brisbane on the Pacific Ocean coastline.
Although it does not have a central business district, by population it ranks as the 10th largest metropolis in Australia and the third largest in Queensland.
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The Sunshine Coast economy is currently dominated by three main sectors – tourism, retail and construction. The region also has a strong agricultural sector. Strong efforts are being made to diversify the regional economy by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and others with an emphasis on 'clean and green' knowledge-based businesses across sectors such as information and communication technologies, cleantech, creative industries, aviation, education and food and beverages.
The Sunshine Coast is also emerging as a hotspot for entrepreneurial and innovative businesses. This has been partly fuelled by a new wave of around 80 start-up businesses – mainly in ICT, cleantech and creative industry sectors – generated by the University of the Sunshine Coast's Innovation Centre. The University site at Sippy Downs is designated as a 'Knowledge Hub' as part of the Queensland Government's South East Queensland Regional Infrastructure Plan and is master planned as Australia's first university town based on the UK models with the potential for over 6,000 workers in knowledge based businesses. Sippy Downs was highlighted as an 'Innovation Hotspot' in July 2010 by top European Business magazine CNBC Business with the potential to be 'Australia's no-worries-answer to Silicon Valley'.