As we prepare to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and look to the 2032 Olympic & Paralympic Games in Southeast Queensland, a crucial decade of investment in Queensland’s key innovation places is set to deliver a jobs and economic bonanza, focused on retraining and upskilling for the high-productivity jobs of the future and nurturing a flourishing start-up culture.
Our Precinct has been identified, alongside Brisbane’s two major innovation hubs, as a key driver of up to 80,000 new jobs and $11 billion in economic value-add to the Queensland economy per year by the end of the decade.
The release of a discussion paper to guide strategy development is perfectly timed as we finalise our own 5-year Precinct strategic plan, and as the Federal Government focuses on post-COVID recovery through industry transformation, driven by Modern Manufacturing and Sovereign Supply Chain funding initiatives.
Recovery stimulus, based on long-term return-on-investment (ROI) through transformational innovation, will accelerate the Gold Coast’s already strong population, diversification and business growth momentum, and together with the impetus towards the Olympics, will provide a powerful combination for success.
Our foundation, as of 2019, was already strong – almost 15,000 people employed within the Precinct, supporting a total of 21,000 jobs across the Gold Coast and contributing $3.6 billion in economic value-add to the Queensland economy.
Anecdotally, the pandemic has been an impetus for additional growth in the Precinct. Crucially, the jobs are in the high-value health and knowledge sectors, enhancing economic productivity.
This is evidenced by the recent attraction of international and interstate companies in medical and digital technologies and in recent partnerships such as that between Gilmour Space Technologies and Griffith University that will be crucial to developing our skilled workforce.
Our Precinct looks forward to playing its critical part in a bright economic future for the city, state and nation, driven by innovation that matters.
Professor Mario Pinto, Director, Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct
Queensland Innovation Places Strategy
Queensland Premier, Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk, was joined by Minister for Tourism Industry Development and Innovation and Minister for Sport, Hon Stirling Hinchliffe, in announcing bold predictions for the state’s ROI in innovation, based on a comprehensive study by the University of Queensland.
The UQ research found the jobs and economic dividend could result from ‘simply boosting the growth of the states three most significant innovation precincts to global benchmark standards.’
The Premier said Queensland had established a successful history of investing in innovation and developing game-changing technologies and scientific breakthroughs, beginning with the Smart State initiative of former Premier Peter Beattie.
“The latest UQ study highlights a very bright future indeed for our innovation precincts, hubs and clusters and the exciting growth they will generate.
“New jobs in this sector will be vital as we transition from a short-term economic and health response to a long-term focus on productivity and competitiveness,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Innovation Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said innovation was the key to rebuilding Queensland for the future faster than the other states and territories.
“Innovation works best when industry and researchers work together to bring new ideas and applications to life and to market,” the Minister said.
In just the past six years, Advance Queensland has invested $755 million, backing more than 7500 innovation projects.
The pivotal Smart State initiative positioned Queensland at the turn of the 21st century to develop a solid biomedical sector, with Griffith University’s Institute of Glycomics a strong case in point. It has grown from a handful of staff to an institute of 250 research scientists, research students and commercialisation experts, as it celebrates its 21st birthday.
The discussion paper sets out a vision for ‘a highly connected, engaged and collaborative system of innovation places’ with a focus on economic strengths and assets, including people. It recommends targetting specialisation with coordination, and better translation and commercialisation of high-quality research.
“Queensland’s priority sectors and technologies, based on our traditional strengths and emerging opportunities, provide significant future economic opportunity and a potential focus for our innovation places. While a focus has been on building specialisation and critical mass within our innovation places, this could be better coordinated,” the discussion paper reads. It also highlights the need to create a strong external innovation brand that attracts investors to Queensland.
Feedback is invited by 5pm, Friday, 26 November 2021 via:
Reimagine Gold Coast 2.0
A federal focus on economic recovery and transformation
Hosted by Member for Moncrief, Angie Bell MP, and her City Heart Taskforce, the event drew key business representatives from across the Gold Coast with a focus on COVID-19 recovery driven by an innovation and transformation agenda. Minister for Home Affairs, Hon Karen Andrews, MP for McPherson and Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business Hon Stuart Robert, MP for Fadden also spoke, representing the full contingent of the city’s Federal representation.
A highlight was a presentation by Gilmour Space CEO Adam Gilmour, who shared his vision for an Australian Space Manufacturing Network, including what he pitched would be the world’s third-largest spacetech facility, sited in the Gold Coast/Brisbane area, creating more than 850 local jobs in the next five years. It is envisioned as a hub for collaboration between more than 30 space industry companies across Australia to boost the nation’s share of the $700 billion global space industry. He also spoke of the close collaboration with Griffith University to skill a new generation of high-tech workers for the industry.
Presentations by Ministers Stuart Robert and Karen Andrews highlighted the impact of border closures on skilled workforce numbers and the imperative to address this through retraining and via immigration initiatives, once international borders re-open.
Industry 4.0 technologies and future Industry 5.0 transformation were also in focus, with Regional Development Australia (RDA) Gold Coast CEO Estella Rodighiero speaking about local opportunities and highlighting the need for growth in Australia’s digital supply chain, along with the significant opportunity presented by a burgeoning clinical trials sector.