Tech innovation to drive growth in regional Queensland
The push to drive growth in regional Queensland through tech innovation continues, with the launch of a science and innovation hub in Gladstone, the second of three planned centers.
Under the government’s Partner Up Queensland Regional Science and Innovation Network, the hubs aim to provide people living in regional Queensland opportunities for skills development and establish local networks that will drive growth and development in the science sector and innovation economy throughout regional Queensland, jobs and the state’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
Member for Gladstone and Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher said the Central Queensland Hub will be led by CQUniversity and will be supported by the Inspiring Australia STEM hub network, the Gladstone Connects team, Gladstone Regional Council, Australia Pacific LNG, Rio Tinto, StartUp Gladstone, Boyne Island Environmental Education Center and the Coastal Marine Ecosystem Research Center.
“Led by local science and innovation champions within the community, this is about giving mentoring, networking and collaboration opportunities; the engagement of youth in design, implementation, product pitching and entrepreneurship; and engagement with researchers, technologies experts, business and Indigenous mentors, ”Butcher said.
“We really want to see how businesses, research organizations and industry can meet the changing scientific and innovation needs of the community.”
Science Minister Meaghan Scanlon said each regional hub will be provided with funding of up to $ 70,000 over 12 months to employ a regional coordinator to support events, activities and projects that encourage Queenslanders’ participation and awareness of science and innovation within their region.
In total, three regional hubs will be established – in Gladstone, Toowoomba and Cairns – that will enable individuals and community groups to participate in a range of STEM-based (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and innovation-related activities.
“Science and innovation are helping to drive the Queensland Government’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan – whether that’s through renewable energy, advanced manufacturing or our education and research sector,” Scanlon said.
“Survey results from the 3M State of Science Index show that 9 in 10 Australians back more investment in science.
The survey results also showed that during the pandemic, nearly two in three Australians thought that scientists and medical professionals were inspiring a new generation to pursue a science-based career.
“Recent research commissioned by the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist showed that 83% of Queenslanders believe science is critical for the Queensland economy.
“That’s why we’re delivering these hubs, together with major investments like 20 million as part of our flagship Queensland Jobs fund to ramp up the development and manufacture of vaccines.”
The network’s Central Queensland Hub launched at CQUniversity’s Gladstone Marina Campus on 3 May 2022.
The Far North Queensland Hub will be launched at the Tropical Innovation Festival in Cairns in June 2022.