This paper aims at providing some understanding of emerging elements of the knowledge economy and the policy frameworks that might be developed to foster regional entities that will prosper by meeting the challenges of engagement in the global knowledge economy. Through a review of extant and emerging literatures a novel conceptual framework is developed to assist in policy evaluation and development. This framework is then applied to Queensland's Smart State suite of policies. The paper concludes that Queensland has in place many elements of the policy framework required to foster a knowledge economy. It is argued however that several tensions within the policy framework are evident, and as this is an emergent area of policy development, further in-depth evaluation of both the policy settings and the effectiveness of policy is warranted.