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    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Advance Queensland funding helps grow Gold Coast business

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017

    Advance Queensland funding helps grow Gold Coast business

    Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch today joined a Gold Coast business to launch a new gardening app that will have benefits beyond the backyard.

    The GroNative app, a collaborative effort by Natura Pacific and Griffith University’s Doctor Rochelle Steven, has been developed with support from Palaszczuk Government Advance Queensland funding.

    “This app will help gardeners select native plants appropriate for local south east Queensland conditions. It will also have environmental and ecological benefits by helping to reduce water usage through better plant selection and reduced chances of weeds spreading,” Ms Enoch said.

    “The Advance Queensland funding allowed Natura Pacific to tap into specialist knowledge to develop the GroNative app, a great opportunity for the local Gold Coast business to grow.”

    The GroNATIVE app includes profiles of over 400 plants native to South East Queensland, from bottle trees to booyongs.

    “The app informs gardeners about what plants grow best in their area according to soil type and local micro-climate, and this means plants will be appropriate to that local environment, providing invaluable habitat for native birds and other local species,” she said.

    Natura Pacific received $22,550 from the Advance Queensland Knowledge Transfer Partnerships program, enabling them to work with PhD student, now Doctor, Rochelle Steven, to develop the app content.

    “The program enables small to medium sized businesses to take on an Honours, Masters or PhD graduate to work with them on a specific project focused on innovation and business growth and which will return a benefit to all Queenslanders,” Ms Enoch said.

    Griffith University Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O'Connor said the collaboration between Griffith and Natura Pacific represented the core of 21st century thinking.

    "This app demonstrates the creative application of the latest technology to one of the most fundamental and enduring human past-times," Professor O’Connor said.

    Natura Pacific Director Kieran Richardt said the funding was hugely important for finalising the development of GroNATIVE.

    “We were able to take on Rochelle, who is renowned at Griffith for her ecological knowledge. We now have this remarkable information and educational app which fosters a broad understanding and sense of ownership of native biodiversity and encourages the use of endemic and threatened species in gardening,” Mr Richardt said.

    Professor Catherine Pickering from Griffith University’s Environmental Futures Research Institute said besides the aesthetic value the app offered, it was also incredibly important as an environmental tool.

    “If people start using the app to plant native plants that will contribute enormously to the establishment of valuable habitat and corridors for local native wildlife at a time when some species are under threat from urbanisation and climate change,” Professor Pickering said.

    “It will also reduce the risk of garden plants becoming environmental weeds, which can impact not only in residential areas, but also pose significant problems for national parks and wildlife reserves and to agricultural lands.”

    Media contact: 0437 859 987