Palaszczuk Government maintains Advance Queensland momentum

Published Wednesday, 14 June, 2017 at 03:37 PM

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

The Palaszczuk Government will commit over $50 million in 2017-18 maintaining the momentum of its $420 million whole-of-government Advance Queensland initiative.

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said today (Wednesday) Advance Queensland will continue to position Queensland as the innovation state.

“So far, Advance Queensland has backed more than 900 innovators and is supporting more than 2100 jobs,” Ms Enoch said. “This coming financial year, we will spend more than $50 million unlocking the opportunities that are key to our future."

Ms Enoch said the 2017-18 Queensland Budget also committed $10 million to the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas program, which has already provided nearly $16.5 million to almost 120 businesses in the past 18 months.

“Due to overwhelmingly positive feedback, the Palaszczuk Government is committing to a third round of funding under this program to support Queensland innovators and businesses," she said.

“The Ignite Ideas Fund is encouraging investment in innovation and supporting small businesses in a diverse range of industries such as health, agriculture, construction, tourism, mining, natural resources, and energy and renewables."

Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur Mark Sowerby supported the move to back another round of Ignite Ideas.

“This program is working and I have been talking to people with great ideas who are keen to apply,” he said.

"Ignite Ideas is a program that's doing what it's meant to - giving Queenslanders a chance to start a business, employ people and create jobs and wealth."  

Brisbane-based MOVUS has built FitMachine, a machine condition monitoring solution powered by artificial intelligence.

The business now employs 14 full-time staff and 12 part-timers, up from just four staff a year ago, thanks to a $100,000 grant from Ignite Ideas.

“Ignite Ideas gave us the fuel in the can to get our product out to market – it gave us credibility with customers and most importantly sales,” said founder and CEO Brad Parsons.

“We’ve achieved double the sales we expected, we’re getting requests from overseas and we’re targeting new investment to take us to the next level in a few months.”

Applications for the third round of Ignite Ideas funding will be open for the next four weeks.

Ms Enoch said the Ignite Ideas Fund was just one of the many Advance Queensland programs making life better for Queenslanders by supporting businesses to create jobs.

“We will continue to help small businesses grow by connecting them with the best minds in the state,” she said.

“In 2017-18, 12 regions will roll-out a collaborative approach to innovation to boost jobs and opportunity across the state under the $6 million Advancing Regional Innovation Program.

“Advance Queensland will help scientists discover new solutions to improve lives and enables ground-breaking work to be conducted in areas such as early skin cancer detection, reducing run-off to the reef and transforming Queensland’s agricultural waste products into advanced composites.

“And we will support a diversity of research talent through funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers, and backing the exploration of advanced health improvements.”

Ms Enoch highlighted the role platform technologies like big data, sensors, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles will play in the state’s future.

“Queensland has the potential to be a globally significant player in platform technologies - improving the competitiveness of key industries and creating new opportunities for small firms,” she said.

“Government itself can be a lead customer of innovation and in 2017-18 we will expand our efforts to harness innovation to deliver better services and create more opportunities to work with small business.”


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