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Boosting Queensland’s Innovation Sector Could Deliver 80,000 Tech Jobs

A new study has revealed that 80,000 new jobs could be created over the next decade via the boosting of innovation hubs and precincts to position Queensland at the forefront of global technology advancements. The forecast is contained in a comprehensive study of Queensland’s booming innovation places by the University of Queensland and as the Government readies a new plan to further propel the sector.

The UQ research predicts the jobs, as well as an $11 billion-a-year windfall to the economy, could be the result of ‘simply boosting the growth of the states three most significant innovation precincts to global benchmark standards.’ Among the detailed findings, considered by State Cabinet was ‘a coordinated and strategic approach ‘to further enhance and accelerate the strongly performing sector. The Premier stated that Queensland had established a successful history of investing in innovation and developing game-changing technologies and scientific breakthroughs.

In recent decades the Smart State and Advance Queensland initiatives have supported our impressive innovation sector including the region’s world-class research centres which will further fire up our economy. It was noted that the latest UQ study highlights a very bright future indeed for local innovation precincts, hubs and clusters and the exciting growth they will generate. New jobs in this sector will be vital the region transitions from a short-term economic and health response to a long-term focus on productivity and competitiveness.

The Queensland Innovation Minister noted that innovation was the key to rebuilding Queensland for the future faster than the other states and territories. The confident predictions and recommended way forward outlined in the UQ research study backs this up. Innovation works best when industry and researchers work together to bring new ideas and applications to life and market.

In just the past six years, Advance Queensland has invested $755 million, backing more than 7500 innovation projects with 61 per cent in regional Queensland. New ventures have supported almost 27,000 jobs. More than 4600 regional innovators have received $170 million in Advance Queensland funding and supported more than 11,000 jobs.

Many are enjoying global success that include:

  • A Brisbane based rapid flu and COVID-19 diagnostic test technology.
  • A Gold Coast-based rocket company launching small satellites to space.
  • A world-leading designs manufacturer of Electric Vehicle fast-charging infrastructure with 20% of global market share.
  • A Sunshine Coast-based Fire Fighting Equipment design and manufacturer. Developed the Helitak Black Hawk tank the only underbelly tank of its kind in the world approved for aerial firefighting.
  • A US-based aerospace company is working with 20 Queensland companies to develop onboard command and control technology for the Loyal Wingman drones.
  • A Gold Coast developed a Total Artificial Heart that may become the first viable alternative to heart transplantation.

The UQ research findings have prompted an immediate start on a new whole-of-government 10-year plan for innovation. Set for release on Friday is the Queensland Innovation Strategy: Discussion Paper for public consultation. Feedback on what’s needed will be compiled and completed early next year.

Over the past 20 years, investments have been made to establish key innovation centres in Queensland. These include the Herston Health Precinct; the Boggo Road Precinct encompassing the Ecosciences Precinct, the Princess Alexandra Hospital and the Translational Research Institute; and the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct. Moreover, several regional locations also feature the emergence of the Townsville Knowledge and Cairns University Hospital Precincts and the AgTech and Logistics Hub in Toowoomba.

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