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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Palaszczuk Government celebrates two years of advancing Queensland

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

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

    Thursday, July 13, 2017

    Palaszczuk Government celebrates two years of advancing Queensland

    The Palaszczuk Government is today celebrating the second anniversary – and initial success - of its $420 million whole-of-government Advance Queensland program.

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Advance Queensland has supported 2120 jobs, backed more than 900 innovators to turn their ideas into reality, invested $179 million and leveraged $100 million in co-investment from partners since being launched two years ago.

    “Queensland’s future is being shaped right now, and innovation is the key,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “My government has a clear plan to continue turning great ideas into action, improving the lives of Queenslanders and driving economic growth.

    “At its heart, Advance Queensland is about jobs, people and opportunity. We are creating and sustaining jobs, harnessing Queenslanders’ ideas for new products and services, and encouraging people from all walks of life to back themselves.”

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said Advance Queensland is inspiring Queenslanders to turn their ideas into action.

    Ms Enoch said this was being achieved through $16.5 million of investment in innovative small businesses through the Ignite Ideas Fund, and $20.6 million provided to 90 research fellowships tackling some of Queensland’s biggest health, food security and energy challenges.

    “Advance Queensland is supporting game-changing innovations like the BiVACOR artificial heart – a revolutionary cardiac replacement device for people who have heart failure but are ineligible to receive a donor heart,” Ms Enoch said.

    “Startups like Gruntify, Elevare Energy and Natural Evolution are creating jobs and attracting international investment to Queensland.”

    Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, Mark Sowerby said Advance Queensland has the best range of programs in the country, helping Queensland startups and scale-ups get off the ground and take their business to the next level.

    "All net jobs growth comes from small businesses, so if you want jobs and genuine sustainable wealth creation, then it makes sense to focus on the entrepreneurial ecosystem."

    “Queensland is changing dramatically with new Angel investment groups popping up across the state, more venture capitalists, new co-working spaces in the city and the regions, and increased investor interest in our ideas and people.

    “Popup entrepreneur events, our world first Venturer program with Ben Southall, MIT Bootcamp at QUT, local identities like Steve Baxter and River City Labs, and The Precinct startup hub in the Valley - all these provide the ingredients to produce Queensland's hero entrepreneurs of the future.

    “Advance Queensland is a great example of how government can catalyse the private sector and help change our future for the better."

    Ms Enoch said in the past two years 24,000 people have attended Advance Queensland-supported events, including the sold-out Myriad Festival, which attracted more than 2000 businesses, entrepreneurs, thinkers and young people from across the state to make connections, learn and create opportunities.

    “In addition to Myriad, more than 3500 young entrepreneurs have been inspired to create their own future through 32 Young Starter events from Cairns to Southport and out to Toowoomba and Blackwater,” she said.

    “Within Australia, Queensland is now seen as the place to be, with 34 New South Wales startups having applied to move north, and Queensland having surpassed Victoria in the numbers of startups.”

    Ms Enoch said the next steps include turning startups into scale-ups and harnessing their job-generating potential.

    “This is why we need government to be a lead customer of innovation, and we will use our Small Business Innovation Research and Testing Within Government programs to provide a springboard,” she said.

    “If we continue to back our innovators, we will achieve even better results, and more jobs will be created as our programs gain momentum and build on their success to date. These results are to 30 March 2017, and I will be providing an update on progress to 30 June 2017 in the coming weeks.

    “We will look to our expert panel, our Chief Entrepreneur, and the business, startup and research communities to help ensure what we do is timely and headed in the right direction. The rate of change is increasing, and we have not a moment to rest,” she said.

    ENDS

    Media contact:
    Minister Enoch’s office – Neil Doorley 0412 393 909
    Premier’s office – Michelle Wellington 0437 323 834