Innovation Minister announces Sunshine Coast as first region benefiting from $1m program to create ideas and jobs

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The Sunshine Coast will benefit from a $1 million program to drive innovation, boost economic opportunities and create new jobs – thanks to a co-funded partnership between the Palaszczuk Government, the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Noosa Shire Council, Regional Development Australia (RDA) Sunshine Coast and over 24 other partners.

Speaking at the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast today, Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch announced the funding was the first allocation from the $6 million Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP).

"The Advancing Regional Innovation Program is supporting regional growth by connecting communities and boosting grassroots activities, leveraging key regional strengths and lifting the capability of innovative local businesses," Ms Enoch said.

"It will encourage entrepreneurs, consumers, business leaders and key industries in regional areas to embrace new ideas, showcase local innovative businesses and work together to build new opportunities and jobs for their local communities."

The Sunshine Coast Region will receive $500,000 over three years from the State Government to collaborate with and encourage local entrepreneurs, business leaders and key industries to work together to innovate and strengthen the region's economy.

Darrell Edwards, CEO RDA Sunshine Coast, said being the first region to be approved $500k in matched funding from local government and industry was exciting.

"RDA Sunshine Coast is proud to partner with Noosa Shire Council and Sunshine Coast Council in the steering committee of Sunshine Coast Regional Innovation Pipeline Team (#SCRIPT)."

"The Sunshine Coast region already has a vibrant and inclusive innovation ecosystem, and this program will enhance and broaden the ecosystem for greater regional impact."

SCRIPT members participated in numerous community and business consultations to design a program that will support innovation in SME's with the announced funding.

"Enabling innovation in our existing business community will be an important contributor to economic development and will provide the jobs of the future," said Mr Edwards.

"It is important for the Sunshine Coast region that businesses develop solutions that create national and global revenues but drives employment locally."

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