The Palaszczuk Government is backing innovation hubs almost $1 million to drive job creation and economic growth in the Wide Bay Burnett region, Minister for Innovation Leeanne Enoch announced today (Tuesday).
Ms Enoch said the government will support the three hubs with $500,000 over three years from its $6 million Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP).
She said the government’s contribution will nearly be matched by the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils (WBBROC), who secured support from 23 collaborative partners including the community backed co-working space The Generator in Bundaberg, and five of the region’s councils.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s ARIP is supporting growth in regional communities by strengthening the capabilities of innovative businesses,” Ms Enoch said.
“The flow-on effect will be a larger number of startups in the Wide Bay Burnett region that are better supported and equipped to succeed both nationally and globally.”
Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said the "collaboration" between business, government, research and education sectors will boost startup and innovative small business numbers throughout the region.
"Under the ARIP, this government is building collaborative networks - including the launch and planning for two new innovation hubs in addition to Bundaberg's The Generator," she said.
“The SPINSTART Accelerator program in Fraser Coast will be progressed by the end of the year, and planning for an innovation hub in Gympie is underway as we build on the region’s strengths in sectors including food, agribusiness, advanced manufacturing and allied health innovations."
WBBROC Chair Cr Mick Curran welcomed the Palaszczuk Government's funding.
"The funding and regional program will enable our local entrepreneurs, business leaders and key industries to collaborate more closely with government to harness innovation, unlock business potential and prepare regional Queenslanders for the jobs of the future", Cr Curran said.
“The program will also enable a tailored approach to connecting local efforts, harnessing existing strengths and building regional capability.
“The intention is to build networks of innovative communities across the Wide Bay Burnett region that reflect the diversity of Queensland - drawing people together and boosting grassroots activities".
Co-founder and Community Manager of The Generator Eleanor Carey said the funding will provide an enormous boost to the area’s startup and innovation ecosystem.
“This ARIP funding will allow us to lift The Generator from a co-working space to an innovation hub, by providing much needed assistance to improve facilities and programs to better serve our startup and small business community,” Ms Carey said.
Under ARIP, the Palaszczuk Government is providing matched funding up to $500,000 to 12 regions: Wide Bay Burnett, Far North Queensland, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, North Queensland, Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday, Fitzroy, Outback Queensland, Darling Downs and Maranoa, Moreton Bay, Ipswich and West Moreton, Redlands and Logan. Advance Queensland is the Palaszczuk Government’s $420 million flagship initiative to drive innovation across the state and turn great ideas into new products, businesses and jobs.
Visit the Advancing Regional Innovation Program for more details on ARIP, or contact WBBROC Chair Cr Mick Curran on 0417 959 331 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch