New hubs a catalyst for regional science and innovation
Published Wednesday, 27 April, 2022 at 04:15 PM
Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon
The Palaszczuk Government has launched the first of three regional science and innovation hubs at the Earth Day Environmental Education Expo in Toowoomba.
Dubbed the Partner Up Queensland Regional Science and Innovation Network, the hubs aim to provide people living in regional Queensland with more opportunities to engage with science and innovation in a meaningful way.
Science Minister Meaghan Scanlon said each regional hub will be provided with funding of up to $70,000 over 12 months to employ a regional coordinator and to support events, activities and projects that encourage Queenslanders’ participation and awareness of science and innovation within their region.
“Science and innovation are helping to drive the Palaszczuk Government’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan – whether that’s through renewable energy, advanced manufacturing or our education and research sector,” Minister Scanlon said.
“Survey results from the 3M State of Science Index show that 9 in 10 Australians back more investment in science.
“The survey results also showed that during the pandemic, nearly two in three Australians thought that scientists and medical professionals are inspiring a new generation to pursue a science-based career.
“Recent research commissioned by the Office of Queensland Chief Scientist showed that 83% of Queenslanders believe science is critical for the Queensland economy.
“That’s why we’re delivering these hubs, together with major investments like $20 million as part of our flagship Queensland Jobs fund to ramp up the development and manufacture of vaccines.”
Innovation Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said hubs would help to supercharge regional Queensland science and innovation.
“For local entrepreneurs and business leaders, the hubs aim to deliver support and partnerships to identify and develop real-world opportunities,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Whether it’s robots, hydrogen or medical technology, we know science and innovation will be critical to building regional Queensland’s industries and jobs of the future.”
Minister Scanlon said the Darling Downs and South West Hub will be led by Amaroo Environmental Education Centre, and will be supported by Regional Development Australia, integratedSTEM, the University of Southern Queensland, and the Cobb & Co Museum.
“In total, three regional hubs will be established in Toowoomba, Gladstone and Cairns and will enable individuals and community groups to participate in a range of STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and innovation related activities.
“The events will be developed by the individual network hubs and by local science and innovation champions within the community and will include networking events, scholarships, STEM competitions, National Science Week events, and conferences throughout the year.
“The network will provide opportunities for skills development and establish local networks that will drive growth and development in the science sector and innovation economy throughout regional Queensland.
“This will result in enhancing how businesses, research organisations and industry can meet the changing scientific and innovation needs of the community.”
The Partner Up Queensland Regional Science and Innovation Network is a joint initiative of the Department of Environment and Science and the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport.
The network’s Central Queensland Hub will be launched at CQUniversity’s Gladstone Marina Campus on 3 May 2022.
The Far North Queensland Hub will be launched at the Tropical Innovation Festival in Cairns in June 2022.
Media contact: Francis Dela Cruz - 0420 592 078