Queensland signs bioeconomy partnership with German Government
Published Friday, 27 May, 2022 at 01:46 PM
Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Cameron Dick
Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon
Queensland’s status as a bioeconomy powerhouse has been bolstered by the signing of a new strategic partnership with the German Government.
The Joint Declaration of Intent for Cooperation in Bioeconomy was today signed by Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick and German Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger.
Bioeconomies are an emerging model for government and business, with a greater focus on sustainably using renewable biological resources to produce food, energy and industrial goods.
Mr Dick said a bioeconomy collaboration program will now be developed to accelerate research and industry opportunities between Queensland and Germany, regarded as having one of the world’s leading bioeconomies.
“This partnership represents an exciting opportunity for Queensland to work with and learn from the German Government,” the Treasurer said.
“Queensland researchers will now have greater access to experienced German innovators and investors.
“International collaboration and investment in the bioeconomy sphere is critical to the growth and future prosperity of our state and nation.
“By signing this Intent on Bioeconomy today we’re signalling our aim to attract more investment to Queensland and create new jobs of tomorrow.
“Germany is a major goods trading partner of Queensland, with import and export trade totalling more than $2.4 billion in 2021,” he said.
“This year also marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and the Federal Republic of Germany.
“We now look to build on that significant foundation with a shared vision for expanding our biobased research and industry.
“Queensland has made significant progress in recent years when it comes to biofuels and developing more sustainable products and processes, and we’re eager to work with German partners to tap into new biotech and bioproduct knowledge and supply chains.”
In 2010, Germany released the world’s first National Research Strategy on Bioeconomy, and since then 60 other countries have delivered similar plans.
In 2020 the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research invested 140 million Euros (AU$217 million) into 1772 bioeconomy research projects.
German Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger said the bioeconomy represents an important building block towards achieving ambitious objectives in climate, environmental and resource protection.
“It is nothing less than the promise to reconcile economic and ecological priorities in order to secure the prosperity of future generations with the help of high technology,” Ms Stark-Watzinger said.
“The bioeconomy is multifaceted, interdisciplinary and enormously complex, therefore it is systems-oriented applied research, development and innovation that will determine the success on our path towards a bio-based and sustainable economy.
“As a ‘Ministry of Opportunities’ and main research funding body in Germany, we have recognised this early on and made this part of our DNA; for example, by considerably funding bioeconomic research since 2010.
“The central focuses of my trip, green hydrogen and bioeconomy, are two sides of the same coin to make urgently needed defossilisation a reality.”
Germany is Queensland’s fourth highest international science collaborator, behind the US, UK and China.
Between 2017 and 2021, Queensland and German researchers co-authored more than 6000 publications across 11 fields of scientific research.
Minister for Environment and Science Meaghan Scanlon said the new agreement paves the way for Queensland to further its climate action credentials in lockstep with a world leader.
“By shaping our bioeconomy here in Queensland, we’ll better protect our natural environment and take further action on climate change,” Ms Scanlon said.
“Germany is a visionary in bioeconomy policy, so this partnership holds great potential for our state and a more sustainable future.”
Media contact: Ben Doyle 0400 775 561