Mayor welcomes Premier’s expanded innovation commitment
  • Tuesday 14 June 2016

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s acceleration of Advance Queensland and her commitment to more than doubling the investment in innovation has been strongly welcomed by Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson.

On Monday, the Premier announced that as part of today’s State budget, funding for Advance Queensland would increase from $180 million to $405 million with 13 new initiatives including projects specifically targeted at building innovation capability in the regions.

“This is a great initiative of the Queensland Government and reflects that the future of our economy and our community’s prosperity lies in ideas, innovation, creativity and driving entrepreneurialism,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The Premier discussed this with me when we were in San Francisco last week at the international BIO 2016 convention and we both agree that this is the platform we need to pursue if governments are to be serious about generating high-value, enduring employment opportunities for the future.

“The announcement of a $6 million allocation to Regional Innovation Hubs could not have come at a better time for the Sunshine Coast and fits really well with the new economy we are building in this region.”

Mayor Jamieson said the Premier was very keen to see the Sunshine Coast take advantage of this initiative given its reputation as an ideal location for start-ups and innovative enterprises.

“The Premier has recognised on a number of occasions that the Sunshine Coast has so much to offer start-ups and this is a view that I share with her,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Our objective is to become “Start-Up Central”, with a well developing ecosystem that encourages and nurtures innovation and some highly successful innovation architecture – like the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast and the Spark Bureau - already in place.

“While we were at BIO last week, the Premier and I saw Sunshine Coast innovation on show with the launch of i-PUG, a world first mobile friendly platform that transforms the way public research is conducted and how public health campaigns are delivered.

“This innovative application started its life in the Spark Bureau at Maroochydore in 2015 and is now making its entry into a global marketplace – which shows just how successful you can become as a start-up from the Sunshine Coast.

“But there is much more that we can do if we want to position ourselves as a leader in innovation, so the Sunshine Coast will be looking to secure a slice of the Regional Innovation Hubs funding the Premier announced today.”

Mayor Jamieson said opportunities were already being looked at for further start-up facilities and support services and that in the longer-term, the new Maroochydore city centre would be a magnet for creative new enterprises, like i-PUG.

“Well renowned demographer Bernard Salt recently acknowledged the Sunshine Coast as Australia’s Capital for Entrepreneurship – and it is our firm intention to ensure this continues to be the case,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“As a leading city-region that is building its credentials as a smart and healthy location, the Sunshine Coast is a natural home for encouraging entrepreneurialism.

“The support available under Advance Queensland will potentially help us in this regard and further strengthen the economic and employment opportunities that our Council is seeking to drive on the Sunshine Coast.”