A chance to have your say in the development of this 10-year plan that seeks to leverage the exposure leading up to the 2032 Olympic Games to create innovation opportunities for the Sunshine State.
As former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie once lamented (before attempts like the Smart State campaign of the 1990s to change the image of the “Sunshine State” to that of an economy based on science, technology and innovation) – Queensland was largely beaches.
Much has changed since then, with Advance Queensland Initiative (launched in 2015) being the latest iteration of this focus away from the state’s natural assets. Advance Queensland’s goal is to use global best practices to build Queensland’s innovation economy and derive maximum benefit from investment in innovation. The QLD government and program partners have so far invested more than $1.7 billion to make Queensland’s innovation economy stronger.
As part of Queensland’s COVID-19-induced Economic Recovery, and taking advantage of Queensland’s confirmation as the host state for the 2032 Olympic Games, Advance Queensland have been tasked with developing the 10-year “Queensland Innovation Places Strategy 2022-2032”.
To better inform the Strategy, a period of stakeholder consultation on the Innovation Places Discussion Paper has been announced — you can download the discussion paper (see https://www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au/gi/consultation/8600/view.html) and submit your feedback and responses by 5pm, Friday, 26 November 2021. Input is sought from universities and research institutes, industry groups, start-ups, entrepreneurs, local government, local communities, and all interested stakeholders on what will make the most difference to the Innovation Places Strategy.
Key points about the Paper and QLD innovation
To highlight that Queensland is already well on its Smart State trajectory, the Discussion Paper notes some key innovation hubs that have already been established around the state in recent decades, including Herston Health Precinct, the Boggo Road Precinct (including the Ecosciences Precinct, the Princess Alexandra Hospital, and the Translational Research Institute) and the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct. Mention is also made of regional places like TROPIQ (Tropical Intelligence and Health Precinct) in Townsville, a potential Cairns Hospital Precinct and the growing AgTech, logistics and aviation capabilities in Toowoomba.
Supported through a range of industry and economic growth strategies, including 10-year industry roadmaps, Queensland’s priority sectors and technologies are varied and include:
- Property & construction
- Technology and data platforms
- Energy, utilities and infrastructure
- Agriculture and biofutures
- Aerospace and aviation industries
- Advanced manufacturing
- Circular economy and CleanTech
- Tourism and international education
- Defence and cybersecurity industries
- Resources and METS (Mining, Equipment, Technology & Services)
- Biomedical and health
- Major events and the arts.
There has been a focus on building specialisation and critical mass within Queensland’s innovation places, but this could be better coordinated — something that highlights the importance of the consultation process.
Throughout the Discussion Paper a shout out is given to various Queensland innovation success stories; for example: Vaxxas (located in the Translational Research Institute) and its highdensity micro-array patch for vaccine delivery; Gardasil — a cervical cancer vaccine that uses technology developed by University of Queensland scientists Ian Frazer and Jian Zhou; Phibion — an environmental technology company that manages
the operation and closure of tailings dams and dredge impoundments; and Gilmour Space — a venture-funded space company headquartered near the Gold Coast.
Of course, there will be plenty of other innovative/creative solutions to emerge in coming years in Queensland, with various levels of crossover between local and international intellectual talent, established research institutions, and entrepreneurial vision. One of many examples is Precision AI, a Brisbane-based start-up — founded by surgeons, mathematicians, and engineers — that is reinventing orthopaedics by leveraging Computational
Geometry and Artificial Intelligence to improve preoperative planning and visualization during the surgery process.
International/national research (notably NSW government’s 2018 report covering lessons from international experience and analysis of its existing innovation precincts) into Innovation Place experiences has been used to guide the structure of the Discussion Paper for the Queensland Innovation Places Strategy, and the questions included in it for comment and feedback from stakeholders. Here are some examples of the 15 survey questions on which feedback is sought:
– What are the key economic issues that need to be considered to ensure we are best positioned to capitalise on existing and emerging opportunities to grow our innovation places?
– How do we ensure that great talent and capability is based within places, and that we can support the growth of teams and networks around this talent?
– How do we ensure that innovation places are connected, accessible and engaged with industry, industrial and manufacturing precincts, supply chains and markets?
As noted above, submit your feedback and responses to the Discussion Paper (see https://www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au/gi/consultation/8600/view.html) by 5pm, Friday, 26 November 2021, and then wait to see what plan emerges for 2022 and the coming decade to support Queensland’s innovation places!
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