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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Jobs and regional Queensland focus of BIO mission to US

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

    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    Jobs and regional Queensland focus of BIO mission to US

    Premier Annastacia Palasczcuk and Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch have wrapped up a successful mission to the United States to promote the state’s life sciences sector.

    The Premier and Ms Enoch this week led a delegation of close to 100 industry and research leaders to the world’s largest biotechnology event – the Biotechnology International Convention in the United States: BIO 2017.

    Ms Enoch said the BIO mission in San Diego was an opportunity to promote Queensland as a prime investment destination.

    “What gives us the edge is our rich and unique biodiversity, which offers up big prospects in the biodiscovery of new medical drugs sourced from nature; our excellent track record in agriculture for growing biofuels and bioindustrial products; and our strong medical research skills and world-class scientific infrastructure,” Ms Enoch said.

    “And then there is the pipeline of new product development that the Palaszczuk Government has been building through our $420 million Advance Queensland initiative – from the lab through clinical trials to manufacturing.”

    The Premier and Ms Enoch met with key industry and research leaders, including from US biotech company Amyris, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the United States Navy – firming existing ties and looking at how we can explore further opportunities for Queensland.

    At the convention, Amyris announced it was looking into building a biorefinery in Queensland due to the state’s abundance of sugarcane and proximity to Asia, potentially creating 70 new jobs.

    Ms Enoch spoke at the BIO International Convention Opening Plenary session on global innovation. This is the first time an Australian Minister has been invited to speak at a BIO plenary session.

    “We spoke about how countries outside the United States are making their mark in global life sciences. Queensland is well recognised as a biotech hotspot and that’s due in large part to Queensland Government investment and support for the industry and the talent and drive of our researchers, businesses and industry bodies,” Ms Enoch said.

    A big focus of this year’s BIO mission was on supporting the state’s burgeoning biofutures sector, with the aim of providing new opportunities for the state’s agricultural producers and the possibility of brand new industries in regional and rural Queensland.

    “At BIO, the Premier announced the recipients of the $5 million Advance Queensland Biofutures Commercialisation Program, part of the Advance Queensland Biofutures Roadmap,” Ms Enoch said.

    She said the projects included turning millions of tonnes of sugar waste that’s normally burnt into a feedstock for biorefineries and trialling an algae farm that produces a high-protein feedstock.

    In 2014, a joint Deloitte Access Economics and QUT study projected that by 2035 an industrial biotechnology and bioproducts sector could contribute $1.8 billion to Queensland’s gross state products, supporting almost 7000 jobs in the state, particularly in regional and rural Queensland.

    ENDS

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