Although the green economy has been advanced as the sixth major techno-economic transition to emerge since European settlement capable of major societal transformation and has attracted growing interest, it is poorly understood. We require a more sophisticated understanding of the genesis, development and geographic spread of green economy industries, providing important new information to underpin policy development and investment strategies, increasing the ability of the Australian economy to benefit from ‘first mover’ advantages. Nations and firms are increasingly aware of the need to be ahead of or at least in touch with the next wave of innovation and are seeking to identify what will give rise to areas of innovation. For a major societal transformation to occur---such as to a green economy---there needs to be an associated critical mass of new and emerging enabling technologies capable of being linked to a clearly recognised and pressing need in the marketplace---in this instance, the challenge of 21st century sustainable development (economic, social and environmental). These rapid changes appear to occur after an economic downturn and are given stimulus by governments. In this case, the green economy push has been called the Global Green New Deal by the United Nations Environment Programme and has been a major part of many government stimulus packages in response to the global financial crisis of 2008-09.