Innovation centre to support knowledge-based industries

Qld government backs centre with $500,00 in funds

The Queensland Government will today officially launch an innovation centre to support the growth of knowledge-based industries in the state.

Minister for Tourism, Regional Development and Industry, Desley Boyle, announced $500,000 in funding toward the Gold Coast Innovation Centre (GCIC) which is also receiving financial support from Griffith University and the Gold Coast City Council.

"We have provided $500,000 to help the centre create high value jobs and add to the Gold Coast region's reputation as a fast-growing, innovation business destination," he said.

"It is part of the government's overall commitment to increasing business investment in the commercialisation of research and development which is so important for our future economic growth and prosperity."

GCIC CEO Andrew Loch said there are four founding clients at the centre - MigcoBio, GrassAds, Allotz.com and MyCyberTwin - which are good examples of the innovative technology-based businesses the centre will support.

MigcoBio is developing a novel treatment for migraine, GrassAds is marketing a robot that paints advertisements on sporting fields, Allotz.com provides a software platform for optimising online sales for the accommodation industry and MyCyberTwin provides online virtual personalities for access to automated interactive information and support services.

"As you can see, these businesses are all very different but we can offer each of them tailored support as they grow," Loch said.

"Typical businesses will possess innovative technologies, products and business strategies from which to pursue significant market opportunities, delivering direct economic benefits to the region from their commercialisation activities.

"Clients are expected to be involved in a broad range of industries including: medical devices, biotechnology, ICT products and services, energy and environmental solutions."

The centre offers open plan workspaces, dedicated offices, a reception area and a boardroom for client meetings as well as an education workshop program and other mentoring and support services.

Innovation has become the buzz word in ICT today with many private sector IT managers embracing the new title of innovation director to better reflect their role in today's modern business.

The latest Innovation Index published by Fujitsu found Australian organizations have increased spending on innovation by a whopping 30 per cent in the last 12 months.

In the public sector, state governments are establishing technology precincts or clusters to encourage ICT investment as well as research and development.

Only last week the Western Australian government launched the blueprint for the country's biggest technology precinct exclusively dedicated to the ICT industry.

The goal is to establish Western Australia as an innovation leader, according to the state's Industry and Enterprise Minister Francis Logan.

At a recent CIO Magazine roundtable event, the managing director of BEA Australia, Dr Ali Al-Tarafi, said innovation is important for differentiation in a highly competitive market.

He said today's CIO plays an important advisory role to business and this includes embracing innovation.

"If you don't look to see where innovation fits then you are on the back foot," he said.

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