Queensland awarded coveted international entrepreneurship program

Published Sunday, 25 June, 2017 at 09:54 AM

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

Queensland has won a coveted spot on a global entrepreneurship program that will support its transformation to a global technology hub.

Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch announced today (Sunday) that internationally acclaimed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had awarded Queensland into the fifth cohort of the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP).

“Queensland’s acceptance into the program is an opportunity for the state to learn from and work with the best in the world to build its reputation as an innovation destination,” Ms Enoch said.

A team representing the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITI), QUT, Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur, Blue Sky Ventures will work with other industry co-leads to participate in MIT’s REAP.

Queensland joins an international cohort in the program which has supported communities around the world to develop their entrepreneurial ecosystems since 2012.

“Through participation in MIT REAP, Queensland will further transform our state into a global technology-enabled innovation hub for mining, agriculture and environment,” Ms Enoch said.

“We are developing an innovation-led economy which builds on our natural strengths, and this program provides us a seat at the table with global innovators and thought leaders.”

The Queensland team will work with the MIT faculty and the broader REAP community through a series of activities to build and implement a customised strategy for enhancing their innovation-driven entrepreneurship ecosystems.

Professor Arun Sharma, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of QUT, said the challenge was to broaden the economy from the resource base and capitalise and harness research in robotics, big data and the Internet of Things to become a global technology hub in existing strengths.

Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Mark Sowerby said the program will help develop the state’s ecosystem to link companies with an entire value chain of global players in their respective sectors.

“Queensland is joining this global program to work with leaders like Israel, Singapore, Chile and the UK, and that shows you how entrepreneurial we are and that we’re ready to take it to the next level,” Mr Sowerby said.

“It brings all the right parts of our community together to make sure we have the best environment for our startups and entrepreneurs to thrive, so they can make it happen right here–build global businesses and create jobs.”

MIT REAP admits up to eight partner regions each year. DSITI and QUT are jointly funding Queensland’s participation.

Partner regions form multi-disciplinary teams of entrepreneurs, universities, risk capital firms, government and corporate and commit to a two-year learning engagement with MIT.

Fiona Murray, William Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, said the program helps participating regions create an environment that fosters innovation-driven enterprise by leveraging each region's unique strengths.

“This is done by MIT faculty working with key regional stakeholders to understand its history, the key drivers of innovation and entrepreneurship, and the opportunities to build unique comparative advantages,” Ms Murray said.

“We are excited to work with the upcoming REAP Cohort 5 and learn more about the important role each stakeholder can play in the broader innovation ecosystem.”

For more information visit MIT REAP website.


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