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Boost to science and innovation in regions

28 June 2022

A new Queensland Government initiative sets out to provide people living in regional Queensland with more opportunities to engage with science and innovation.

The Partner Up Queensland Regional Science and Innovation Network is a joint initiative of the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport and the Department of Environment and Science.

The Network has three hubs – in Cairns, Gladstone and Toowoomba.

Each regional hub has been provided with funding of up to $70,000 over 12 months to employ a regional coordinator to support events, activities and projects that encourage Queenslanders’ participation and awareness of science and innovation within their region.

The key aim is to enable regional Queenslanders to participate in a range of STEM-related and innovation related activities and events – with the ultimate purpose of encouraging greater understanding of the amount of scientific and innovation activity in their region and how that contributes, and will contribute, to the local economy, community well-being and a healthy environment.

The network will also establish vital local networks of businesses, community and research organisations to identify and prosecute a local competitive advantage in the future economy or finding a tangible solution to a local economic challenge.

The hubs will also encourage more young regional Queenslanders to consider a career in STEM as well as be engines for greater innovation and entrepreneurialism.

In Toowoomba, the Darling Downs and South West Hub will be led by the Amaroo Environmental Education Centre and will be supported by Regional Development Australia, integratedSTEM, the University of Southern Queensland and the Cobb & Co Museum.

In Gladstone, the Central Queensland Hub will be led by CQUniversity and will be supported by the Inspiring Australia STEM hub network, the Gladstone Connects team, Gladstone Regional Council, Australia Pacific LNG, Rio Tinto, Startup Gladstone, Boyne Island Environmental Education Centre and the Coastal Marine Ecosystem Research Centre.

In Cairns, the Far North Queensland Hub will be led by James Cook University and will be supported by Cairns Regional Council, Gulf Savannah NRM, Y(E)P Entrepreneurship Facilitators Cairns, Regional Development Australia and Cairns Chamber of Commerce.