Queenslanders embrace innovation to advance Queensland

Published Friday, 29 September, 2017 at 09:15 AM

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

A majority of Queenslanders agree that innovation is important for the state’s future, according to new research commissioned by the Palaszczuk Government.

Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said results of the Colmar Brunton research, released today (Friday) in The Queenslanders’ perceptions and attitudes to innovation report, show Queenslanders know innovation is critical for their future and want to get involved.

Ms Enoch said the research revealed the biggest supporters of innovation are in the Far North and the Outback

“Our $420 million whole-of-government Advance Queensland agenda is harnessing innovation to create new opportunities across the state and it is encouraging that the research results back our innovation agenda,” Ms Enoch said.

“Queenslanders are open to innovation and see it as a positive force, with 74 per cent of Queenslanders responding that innovation positively impacts on them and the state and 88 per cent agreeing that innovation is important for our future.

“Innovation fostered and supported by Advance Queensland is central to the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s vision to open new frontiers, unlocking the jobs and investment opportunities of the future.

“There is a clear role for government as an enabler, which is why, to the end of June, we have committed more than $205 million of the Advance Queensland investment to 1650 innovators across Queensland.

“Their projects will drive 4821 jobs, and with Queensland now second to New South Wales in the number of startups, we are well on the way to becoming the Startup State.

“We don’t want people to feel like they are being left behind by changes in the workforce - innovation is creating jobs and is about making our lives better, now and for generations to come.

“Innovation is happening in our core strengths of resources, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, and generating new opportunities in areas like biofuels, big data and drones.”

Ms Enoch said the research looked at how regional Queenslanders felt about innovation – with the biggest supporters in the Far North and the Outback.

“This is because people living in these regions are used to solving problems and turning necessity into opportunity,” Ms Enoch said.

She said the government was also fostering strong innovation in the regions with a number of other initiatives and programs.

“This includes the $6 million Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP) – which has already been rolled out in most of the 12 designated regions across Queensland, including the collaborative project I announced today in Redlands and Logan,” Ms Enoch said.

“ARIP is designed to support initiatives that connect and leverage key strengths, lift innovative capability and build new opportunities and jobs in the regions.”

The research showed that people were interested in innovation when it improved their lives and led to better public outcomes in areas like healthcare and the environment.

“For me, innovation is just problem solving and turning ideas into actions that improve our lives. My experience in talking to Queenslanders is that when you talk about innovation in this way, they are really supportive.”

Queensland’s inaugural Chief Entrepreneur Mark Sowerby said the report confirms what he’s observed over the past year as he’s travelled around the state.

“Queenslanders have a history of embracing innovation. We thrive on challenges.” Mr Sowerby said.

“Regional Queensland, in particular, is showing us how innovation creates opportunities and unlocks jobs now and in the future.”

Queensland’s next Chief Entrepreneur, Steve Baxter, who takes up the role on October 16, said he was not surprised about the level of enthusiasm for innovation across Queensland.

“I’ve made it my mission as the incoming Chief Entrepreneur to help catalyse and commercialise the innovative ideas coming out of Outback Queensland and the regions,” Mr Baxter said.

“In my first six weeks in the role, I’ll be travelling to Emerald, Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Hervey Bay to meet entrepreneurs and business people who are embracing the benefits of innovation and building the businesses of the future.”

The Queenslanders’ perceptions and attitudes to innovation report can be found atadvance.qld.gov.au/publicperceptionsreport


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