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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Small business and universities encouraged to join forces to innovate

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Thursday, September 03, 2015

    Small business and universities encouraged to join forces to innovate

     

    Small to medium businesses and universities are encouraged to join forces to innovate and build a knowledge economy, with support from a new funding program officially announced by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today. 

    Speaking at the Redefining Townsville forum, the Premier said the $8 million Advance Queensland Knowledge Transfer Partnerships program would help small to medium enterprises turn great ideas into outcomes, while helping university graduates build essential business skills. 

    “More than 95 percent of Queensland businesses are small to medium enterprise,” Ms Palaszczuk said. 

    “They are at the core of every industry sector, and small businesses are so busy operating, they often don’t have the time, technical capabilities or capacity to innovate in the same way larger firms do.  

    “This funding program is a win-win for business and for universities. 

    “It places university graduates in businesses to help on strategic innovation projects and helps graduates gain essential practical on-the job business innovation experience.” 

    Minister for Science and Innovation Leeanne Enoch, speaking at the Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre, said the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships program would create knowledge based jobs for the future. 

    “The program will foster collaboration to bridge the gap between university and small to medium businesses, support innovation and business growth which leads to jobs in Queensland,” Ms Enoch said.  

    “Our $180 million Advance Queensland initiative will deliver highly skilled jobs of the future, drive productivity improvements and build on our natural advantages. 

    “Under the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships eligible businesses can apply in partnership with universities for grants of up to $50,000 to subsidise two-thirds of eligible projects costs associated with hiring a graduate. The graduates will be selected and mentored by the university, to work on a specific innovation project in the business.   

    “For a business, a suitable project would represent a real challenge it does not have the technical expertise or creative solutions to address, and would result in a significant outcome – such as improved profitability, productivity or processes, embedding an innovation culture, or creating a competitive advantage,” Ms Enoch said. 

    Ms Enoch also announced a complementary PhD Industry Experience Program which will match Queensland businesses with PhD students for short-term work experience placements, to help drive new ideas and add value to businesses while providing on-the-job training. 

    Applications and eligibility criteria for the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships available at www.qld.gov.au/advanceqld