January 2018

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Livestock export standards to be reviewed

The Australian Government has appointed an expert technical advisory committee to review the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL).

The Australian Government has appointed an expert technical advisory committee to review the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL).

Led by qualified veterinarian and former Senator Chris Back, the committee will spend the next two years reviewing the export standards in consultation with stakeholders and the public.

The review will cover the handling of animals throughout the supply chain, from Australian farms to arrival in the destination country.

Announcing the appointment of the committee, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Malcolm Thompson said that the review would update the standards to reflect the latest developments and knowledge in the industry.

‘This committee will work closely with a reference group of key stakeholders, including the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council, the RSPCA, livestock producer bodies and the Australian Veterinary Association, to ensure the standards consider livestock industry innovation and development, along with the latest animal health and welfare research.’

Mr Thompson said committee members had been drawn from a range of relevant fields.

‘We have representation on the committee across different facets of the trade, with an independent chair, two animal welfare experts – including a current researcher and an eminent veterinarian – a regulatory design specialist and a livestock industry expert.

‘This will ensure we have the skills and expertise on modern animal welfare and livestock management practices and research, along with a commitment to best-practice regulation to deliver clearer and simpler standards.’

Queensland is home to almost half of Australia’s meat cattle, and exported 301,000 live cattle valued at $268 million dollars in 2014–15.

Public consultation for the livestock standards review will begin soon. For more information, see the review website.

The food and agriculture sector is identified as one of Queensland’s export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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'Fit-cations’ spark tourism boom across state

Queensland’s marathons, mountain bike events, ocean swims and other endurance competitions are major drawcards for active travellers, according to new research commissioned by the Queensland Government.

Queensland’s marathons, mountain bike events, ocean swims and other endurance competitions are major drawcards for active travellers, according to new research commissioned by the Queensland Government.

With 17 world-class endurance events stretching from the Gold Coast to the tropical north, Queensland is ideally placed to take advantage of increasing international demand for ‘fit-cations’.

And this trend is translating into economic benefits for the state, says Acting Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development, Shannon Fentiman.

‘Last year, endurance events brought 60,000 visitors to the state and generated 430,000 visitor nights,’ Ms Fentiman said.

‘These events were worth more than $100 million to Queensland’s economy in 2017.

‘This research shows Queensland is a world leader in this field – there is a growing demand for unique endurance events that athletes can put on their bucket lists.’

The research, undertaken by Strategic Facts, surveyed 3,695 domestic and international participants in Queensland’s endurance events.

It found that 99% of respondents agreed that Queensland was Australia’s endurance event capital, 99% praised Queensland’s climate and environment, and 97% underlined the win-win of competing in bucket-list destinations like the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Great Barrier Reef.

The survey also found that 69% of respondents took a post-event holiday in Queensland.

Ms Fentiman said that Queensland’s allure as a holiday destination only added to its fit-cation appeal.

‘The fact that a majority of the athletes surveyed stayed for a holiday in Queensland after their sporting event just shows what a lucrative market this is.

‘Our tourism industry is now worth $25 billion and supports more than 225,000 jobs.’

Survey respondents also praised Queenslanders, with many respondents noting that friendly, welcoming and inclusive locals gave the state an edge over other endurance event locations.

Tourism is identified as Queensland’s most valuable services export in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Korea–Queensland education deal signed

More Korean students should be able to access Queensland’s world-class education and training at home and abroad thanks to an action plan just signed by TIQ and Korea’s Gyeongsangnam-do Office of Education.

More Korean students should be able to access Queensland’s world-class education and training at home and abroad thanks to an action plan just signed by TIQ and Korea’s Gyeongsangnam-do Office of Education.

The action plan focuses on opportunities in education, including online English teacher training and an overseas internship program for technical high school students from Korea.

TIQ CEO Virginia Greville said the action plan committed Queensland and Korea to ongoing exchange and collaboration on educational issues, within the framework of a memorandum of understanding signed in 2013.

‘I would like to encourage everyone to take a fresh look at our bilateral relationship and seek to capitalise on the evolving and new emerging opportunities set out in the action plan,’ Ms Greville said.

A number of Queensland education and training providers are already engaging with Korean students both in Australia and Korea.

Education Queensland International, English Australia and TAFE Queensland are all delivering training courses either onshore or offshore to Korean students.

And Sunshine Coast-based Lexis Education is now providing Korean courses for international students at two campuses in Korea, in addition to offering English courses at its Australian campuses.

Around 7,000 Korean students studied at Queensland institutions in 2016.

In the same year, international education and training was worth around $3.25 billion, making it the state’s second-largest service export.

International education and training is identified as a major export opportunity in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Local team places in global robotics event

The Queensland team who developed an app that turns a robot into a travel advisor have brought home second prize from a global tech challenge held in Tokyo.

A Queensland team whose app can turn a robot into a travel advisor has brought home second prize from a global tech challenge held in Tokyo in late 2017.

Queensland start-up Travics was the only non-Japanese team to make it to the final round in the Pepper App Challenge 2017, beating hundreds of other teams to win equal second place.

The Pepper App Challenge is run by Japanese technology giant SoftBank, and involves teams from around the world developing apps for SoftBank’s Pepper humanoid robot platform.

The Travics team, made up of students and graduates from QUT and Queensland University, developed an app incorporating emotion recognition, machine learning and the Internet of Things.

Their Travel Dreams app enables Pepper to give customers information about travel destinations, activities and tours; show videos of other travellers and their stories; and gather customer feedback and in-store analytics for travel agents.

The Travics team qualified for Tokyo after participating in QUT’s bluebox Robotics Accelerator program, which gives local robotics start-ups a chance to work with industry mentors and develop entrepreneurial skills.

Travics won the Pepper Robotics section of bluebox, receiving $15,000 and entry into the global competition in Japan.

For their success in Tokyo, they received a prize of 100,000 yen (around $1,160) and the chance to work with SoftBank towards launching their app in the USA in conjunction with SoftBank’s US partner company.

The SoftBank Group is one of Japan’s largest companies, employing 63,000 people globally across its technology and internet business.

SoftBank established its first Australian robotics studio last year at the Precinct in Fortitude Valley, after an invitation from the Queensland Government.

Attracting foreign direct investment to Queensland and supporting Queensland start-ups are key actions identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Queensland focus for drone industry

Queensland is emerging as a leader in the global drone industry, with the announcement of a new drone research centre for the state and the annual World of Drones Congress returning to Brisbane in August.

Queensland is emerging as a leader in the global drone industry, with the announcement of a new drone research centre for the state and the annual World of Drones Congress returning to Brisbane in August.

The Australian Government announced late last year that a $50 million centre to research drones and robotics for Australia’s defence forces would have its headquarters in Brisbane.

The Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Trusted Autonomous Systems will bring together the best researchers from industry and universities to develop smart-machine technologies for the Australian army, navy and air force.

Queensland Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the decision to base the CRC in Queensland was a vote of confidence in the state’s world-leading innovation and technology capability.

‘This centre will draw together industry, researchers and local businesses to work with Defence to develop new technologies for drones and other unmanned vehicles,’ Ms Jones said.

‘This will develop a critical mass in key technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous vehicles, and will position Queensland as a global leader in these areas.’

The CRC will initially focus on three research projects in the land, maritime and aerospace domains, led by private-sector companies BAE Systems, Thales Australia and Lockheed Martin. Working with them will be researchers from a number of Australian universities, including Queensland’s QUT  and Griffith University.

Queensland will also be the focus for the international drone industry when the annual World of Drones Congress returns to Brisbane from 8 to 11 August this year.

The congress brings together drone industry leaders, researchers, regulators and businesses from around the world to explore the latest in drone technology, applications and challenges.

Last year’s inaugural World of Drones Congress in Brisbane attracted more than 630 international delegates and featured a speaker program, drone expo, tournament and outreach program.

This year’s congress is now calling for submissions from potential conference presenters and inviting sponsor and exhibitor applications.

Earlybird registrations for the congress are also open.

The defence and aerospace sector is identified as an emerging export priority in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Medicinal cannabis exports to be allowed

Queensland growers of medicinal cannabis can now consider future export options following the recent news that the Australian Government will permit the export of medicinal cannabis products.

Queensland growers of medicinal cannabis can now consider future export options following the recent news that the Australian Government will permit the export of medicinal cannabis products.

Following consultation in 2017, the government has announced that exports will be permitted to support the viability of Australia’s medicinal cannabis industry. The government’s priority for the industry will still be a safe supply of medicinal cannabis for Australian patients.

The news has been welcomed by Sunshine Coast company Medifarm, which was the first Australian company to be licensed to cultivate and manufacture medicinal marijuana.

Speaking with the ABC, Medifarm founder Adam Benjamin said export sales could be one important revenue source for medicinal cannabis producers.

‘It’s very important from our perspective to ensure that the Australian patient gets medicine first,’ Mr Benjamin said.

‘But in order to establish this as an industry there does need to be a broader market.

‘We consider the news another great step forward.’

Global supplies of cannabis for medicinal purposes are relatively scarce and expensive.

Medifarm has an intellectual property partnership with Israeli-based company Tikun Olam, which will provide the mother stock for Medifarm’s plants. Mr Benjamin said Medifarm was hoping to receive material from Tikun Olam soon, and commence production in the next few months.

The move to allow exports is the latest in a series of Australian Government policy initiatives related to medicinal cannabis.

In 2016, Australia legalised the importation of medicinal cannabis by patients with chronic and painful conditions. Local production was also legalised, but time lags around licensing and cultivation meant that Australian patients continued to rely on imported products.

Sweeping changes introduced in February 2017 permitted the importation, storage and supply of medicinal cannabis by Australian companies, with the first two commercial shipments of medicinal cannabis legally imported to Australia in May 2017.

To date, relatively low numbers of local patients have accessed Australian-grown medicinal cannabis products, but this is expected to change as domestic suppliers ramp up production in coming years.

If you would like advice on exporting your product, connect with TIQ today.

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Oz exporters feeling positive, says survey

The nation’s exporters are looking forward to a positive two years ahead according to results from one of Australia’s largest and most in-depth business surveys.

The nation’s exporters are looking forward to a positive two years ahead, according to results from one of Australia’s largest and most in-depth business surveys.

Commissioned by the Export Council of Australia (ECA), Australia’s International Business Survey 2017 analysed results from more than 1,000 Australian businesses to paint a picture of an optimistic group ambitious to expand their international footprint even further.

Of the 1,068 survey respondents, 87% expect the financial outlook for their international operations to be the same or better over the next two years, and around three-quarters of those engaged in international business activity are planning to do business in new countries over the same period.

Those looking forward to a better financial outlook come from businesses in agriculture, forestry and fishing; manufacturing; wholesale trade; professional services; and education and training services.

Other key points to emerge from the survey were:

  • top markets for revenue generation are China, the USA and New Zealand
  • 19% of those surveyed earn more than 50% of their total revenue from international revenue
  • 35% of respondents earn international revenue from 6 or more countries
  • respondents from the agriculture, fishing and forestry sector earn the largest average share of their revenue internationally (95% of total revenue), followed by respondents from the education and training sector (87% of total revenue)
  • 35% of respondent firms can be classified as ‘born global’ (earning international revenue within two years of establishment).

This year’s survey was conducted by the Centre for Business and Social Innovation at the University of Technology Sydney on behalf of the ECA. Now in its fourth year, the survey highlights key insights and issues for Australia’s international business community and presents overall economic trends.

To learn more, download the full survey report for free.

Continuing to boost exports from Queensland is a key goal of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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$25,000 wine export grants up for grabs

Queensland wine producers can now apply for grants of up to $25,000 to help promote their wines and capture export opportunities in China and the USA.

Queensland wine producers can now apply for grants of up to $25,000 to help promote their wines and capture export opportunities in China and the USA.

The Australian Government’s Wine Export Grants are offering $1 million in funding across Australia to help small and medium-sized wine producers compete in these lucrative overseas markets.

Wine producers can claim reimbursement of up to 50% of eligible export promotion expenses incurred on or after 1 January 2018, plus an allowance of $350 per day for travel costs for up to 14 days. The maximum total grant to any one applicant will be $25,000.

Applications will be accepted from now until May 2020, or until all the export grant funding has been allocated. To learn more, read the export grants guidelines and FAQs.

The Wine Export Grants are part of the Australian Government’s new $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package, which aims to transform the Australian grape and wine industry by driving demand for wine exports and showcasing Australia’s wine tourism to the world.

As well as the Wine Export Grants, the package includes International Wine Tourism Competitive Grants, which will provide up to $250,000 for initiatives to increase international wine tourism in regional Australia.

For these grants, applications from groups of producers are encouraged and cash co-contributions are required.  The grant guidelines explain more.

Queensland winemakers are increasingly entering overseas markets, with wineries such as Murgon’s Moffatdale Ridge and Childers’ Ohana Winery recently beginning exports to Asia.

China and the USA are Australia’s largest and second-largest wine export markets respectively.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a key goal of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Digital Influencer applications close early Feb

Social media stars interested in becoming a Study Queensland digital influencer have until 2 February to submit their applications.

Social media stars interested in becoming a Study Queensland digital influencer have until 2 February to submit their applications.

Successful applicants will partner with Study Queensland to showcase Queensland as a leading study destination to followers on Instagram, YouTube and other social media channels.

In return, our influencers will experience the best Queensland has to offer – and receive financial support for costs such as flights, accommodation and tuition.

To apply to become a Study Queensland digital influencer, you must:

  • be a world-known digital influencer
  • have an online channel that focuses on education or skills
  • appeal to people aged 16–30 years
  • have a highly engaged audience in multiple countries.

The role will give you the opportunity to continue growing your social media network and be part of some of Queensland’s most exciting events. Successful applicants will be strongly encouraged to schedule their visit during April, when Queensland will host the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

To learn more about the program, read the guidelines and terms and conditions.

International education and training is identified as one of Queensland’s export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Get your Myriad 2018 tix now

Australia’s leading tech innovation festival will electrify Brisbane once more in May, and organisers say now’s the time to buy discounted earlybird tickets and special below-cost passes.

Australia’s leading tech innovation festival will electrify Brisbane once more in May, and organisers say now’s the time to buy discounted earlybird tickets and special below-cost passes.

Myriad 2018 will come to the RNA Showgrounds from 16 to 18 May, bringing together start-ups, investors, tech-lovers and innovators from around Australia and the world.

This year’s festival will build on the success of last year’s inaugural Myriad, which attracted over 3,000 visitors, 164 exhibitors and 149 speakers.

Those who were lucky enough to attend Myriad 2017 said that they averaged around 9 new contacts each as a result of conversations at the festival. A number of Queensland companies also secured deals and investors as a result of Myriad.

Organisers say that ticket prices for this year’s Myriad will increase monthly, and are urging start-ups, entrepreneurs, experts and all lovers of tech and innovation to buy now.

Extra-special deals are also available for low income earners. If you’re a student, not-for-profit worker, social entrepreneur, eco-system leader or have a significant disability that might otherwise prevent you from attending the festival, below-cost tickets are available. Numbers are strictly limited, so apply now.

Myriad 2018 will be held at the Royal International Convention Centre at the RNA Showgrounds in Bowen Hills.

The festival is presented by Myriad Live in conjunction with the Queensland Government.

Supporting Queensland start-ups is one of the actions identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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