June 2018

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Project explores potential for Indigenous-branded beef

A collaborative project will explore the potential for bringing Indigenous-branded beef products and services to both the domestic and international markets.

A collaborative project will explore the potential for bringing Indigenous-branded beef products and services to both the domestic and international markets.

The new project – a collaboration between Central Queensland’s Western Kangoulu Indigenous Group, the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) – will examine the desirability, feasibility and commercial viability of Indigenous-branded beef products, and development of a supply-chain strategy for them.

The impetus for the project was an Indigenous-branded product concept called ‘BlackFella Beef – Murri Yuri’, developed by Growing Central Queensland and Wangan Jagalingou and Western Kangoulu Indigenous groups.

Western Kangoulu Director Jonathan Malone said the Blackfella Beef concept had huge potential for Indigenous communities.

‘Through this project, we aim to demonstrate a business model that could support sustainable Indigenous communities, employment, education and training outcomes,’ he said.

‘It also has the potential to enable future Indigenous opportunities in the red-meat sector and broader agricultural industries.’

USQ Professor Alice Woodhead said the University would collaborate closely with the Western Kangoulu Indigenous Group to work on economic modelling, product development and a supply-chain strategy.

‘USQ will work with the group to establish the economics of Indigenous herd quality and quantity, and the value proposition for Indigenous-branded beef products.

‘This will build capacity in Indigenous communities to manage additional beef enterprises and understand supply chain and market access.’

The project will be delivered through MLA’s Producer Innovation Fast Track program, which supports the development and adoption of innovations that can improve farm-gate returns and supply-chain performance.

Agricultural products like beef are identified as one of Queensland’s traditional export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Hort Connections showcases cool mangoes

Research to keep export mangoes cooler and fresher is just one project being showcased at the Hort Connections conference in Brisbane this week.

Research to keep export mangoes cooler and fresher is just one project being showcased at the Hort Connections conference in Brisbane this week.

Hort Connections is one of Australia’s largest horticulture conferences, attracting around 3,000 buyers and sellers from every segment of the fresh produce and flower supply chain.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the Queensland Government had been collaborating with industry on a project to reduce temperature variations in fruit exports to help them reach their destination markets in great shape.

‘Specialised monitoring equipment has tracked actual changes in temperature along the journey from here to Asia,’ Mr Furner said.

‘We have used that information to identify “hot spots” and make recommendations for how our iconic mangoes should be packed and transported to ensure they are in the best shape on arrival at their final destination.

‘By ensuring the fruit is adequately cooled each step of the way from a North Queensland packing shed to Beijing supermarket, the mangoes arrive in China with very little change in colour and are actually firmer which increases their shelf life.’

Industry partners on the project are Montague Fresh, Manbulloo and Glen Grove Orchard, with the research focusing on sea and air consignments of mangoes, summerfruit and lemons bound for Asian markets.

Innovating to futureproof traditional export industries like agriculture is one of the actions identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Pixie Ice Cream goes global with $1.5m grant

Toowoomba manufacturer Pixie Ice Cream is set to create 23 new jobs over two years by upgrading its equipment to become more internationally competitive using a $1.5 million Queensland Government grant.

Toowoomba manufacturer Pixie Ice Cream is set to increase its export presence and create 23 new jobs by upgrading its factory using a $1.5 million Queensland Government grant.

The company will use a Made in Queensland grant plus matching company funds to install automated wrapping and boxing equipment in its Toowoomba facility.

Minister for State Development and Manufacturing Cameron Dick said Pixie was a family-owned company that had been turning Darling Downs milk and other local products into ice cream for nearly 60 years.

‘This technology will save the company approximately $1.1 million a year in operating costs and increase distribution capacity in Australia, as well as helping to increase Pixie’s recent foothold in North American and Asia-Pacific markets,’ Mr Dick said.

‘The combination of Pixie’s equal investment with the State Government means its workforce can increase by more than 25% to 110 employees, up from 87.’

Mr Dick said Pixie was one of the first recipients of a grant from the Made in Queensland program, which offers matched grants to help Queensland’s manufacturing sector become more internationally competitive and adopt innovative processes and technologies.

He said a new round of grant applications was now being assessed.

‘Queensland’s $20 billion manufacturing sector already employs approximately 165,000 people,’ Mr Dick said.

‘In April I announced the opening of the second round of the $40 million Made in Queensland program and we have received 115 expressions of interest.’

The EOIs are currently being assessed to see which applicants will move onto the next phase of assessment.

The Made in Queensland funding program complements the Queensland Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan, which sets out a vision for an innovative, sustainable and globally recognised advanced manufacturing sector in Queensland by 2026.

Advanced manufacturing is one of the emerging export sectors identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Precinct to host artificial intelligence hub

Fortitude Valley’s Precinct start-up space will expand and house a new artificial intelligence (AI) hub as a result of funding included in this year’s Queensland Budget.

Fortitude Valley’s Precinct start-up space will expand and house a new artificial intelligence hub as a result of funding included in this year’s Queensland Budget.

As part of its budget statements, the government announced a further $50 million investment in the Advance Queensland initiative, which promotes innovation, technology and entrepreneurship across the state.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said Queensland wanted to position itself as a world leader in artificial intelligence, robotics, and other high-tech industries.

‘That is why we are lifting our overall investment in Advance Queensland to a $650 million program,’ she said.

‘We are investing $15 million in the IndustryTech fund to back projects that develop and deploy these cross-cutting technologies right here in Queensland, and we will also create an artificial intelligence hub.

‘In areas like drones, this kind of support has helped place Queensland as a global centre for technology development, benefiting our defence support, agriculture and resources sectors.’

The new funding will also enable the Precinct to expand and provide more space for Queensland start-ups.

The venue launched in March 2017 and is now home to 17 businesses, including SoftBank, CSIRO’s Data61 and the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, with 27 more start-ups on a waiting list for office space.

The new funding will enable the Precinct to add an extra floor and increase its available space by 50%.

One of The Precinct’s foundation tenants, video app developer Clipchamp, has nearly quadrupled its user numbers in the past 12 months, with almost 4 million registered users around the world and a growing team.

Clipchamp co-founder and CEO Alex Dreiling said the company had experienced first-hand the benefits of being part of an innovation hub.

‘We were an isolated start-up before, in a managed office, with challenges that none of the businesses around us had,’ Mr Dreiling said.

‘The Precinct is obviously filled with start-ups, so we can get help and help others at any time. Just sharing the space with likeminded people is inspiring.

‘Start-ups have the potential to become an economic engine in Queensland outside the traditional sectors.’

Supporting innovation through the start-up sector is one of the actions identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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From Kenya to Queensland – a skilled migration story

Queensland may be a long way from Kenya, but skilled migrant Beverly Wambui Kabuya Muito says there’s a ‘golden strand’ that links her work in a Sunshine Coast pharmacy to her professional life back in Nairobi.

Queensland may be a long way from Kenya, but skilled migrant Beverly Wambui Kabuya Muito says there’s a ‘golden strand’ that links her work in a Sunshine Coast pharmacy to her professional life back in Nairobi.

Beverly emigrated to Queensland in 2015 with the support of TIQ’s Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) team.

She says the move, with daughter Kuni, was prompted by a desire for a better life.

‘It really comes down to pursuing better opportunities for myself and my daughter, and exploring the options available to me as a professional,’ she says.

‘It is said that the world is your oyster, and my parents always told us that education is your foot in the door – it is the key. So I guess I just wanted to put that to the test!’

Beverly was a pharmacist at a large government psychiatric hospital in Nairobi and now works in a retail pharmacy on the Sunshine Coast.

She says that while some things are different here, other important factors are the same.

‘The most notable difference is the resources available – or, actually, the lack of resources in Kenya – for promoting healthy communities, and the difficulties local communities faced in accessing the services and medications they required,’ she says.

‘The golden strand that links both working environments is maximising the resources one has, and doing the best you can to not only provide medication to the community but to empower and educate people to be responsible for their own health, and better understand the health issues facing them, or their loved ones.’

Beverly says her move to Australia has been challenging but rewarding, and encourages others considering skilled migration to persist if they are confident that Queensland is for them.

‘The biggest challenge has been being a solo parent and not having the family support system,’ she says.

‘But, at the same time, the biggest success has been how well we have settled in and feel at home here.

‘We have begun to find our place and voice in the community and we have grown.

‘My advice is not to give up. It is worth it in the end!’

To read more of Beverly and Kuni’s story, see our full interview with Beverly on Medium.

For advice on business and skilled migration to Queensland, contact BSMQ.

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Queensland joins showcase at Vinexpo Hong Kong

Queensland’s Sirromet Wines was one of a record 151 Australian exhibitors to attend Vinexpo Hong Kong in late May.

Sirromet at Vinexpo

Sirromet Wines waved the flag for Queensland winemakers at the recent Vinexpo wine show in Hong Kong.

Queensland’s Sirromet Wines was one of a record 151 Australian exhibitors to attend Vinexpo Hong Kong in late May.

Australia took centre stage as ‘Country of Honour’ at this year’s Vinexpo, which is Asia’s premier wine and spirits trade fair.

The huge contingent of Australian wine exhibitors showcased more than 225 Australian wine brands from 51 wine regions, celebrating Australia’s diverse and energetic wine scene.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said around 17,000 trade and media representatives attended the three-day expo, and it was a unique opportunity to promote Australian wine and the authenticity, camaraderie and innovation of Australian winemakers.

‘Australia is a high-quality wine-producing nation and our winemakers have great stories to tell,’ he said.

‘They’re at the forefront of innovation in experimenting with new grape varieties and different styles of winemaking.

‘The packed three-day program of regional tastings and conferences, together with the unveiling of a new marketing campaign – ‘Australian Wine Made Our Way’ – has made a strong statement about what makes Australian wine unique and desirable.’

During the expo, Wine Australia also signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese multinational e-commerce giant Alibaba to better showcase Australian wine on the world’s fastest growing e-commerce platform, Tmall.

Seventy-one exhibitors then joined Wine Australia’s China Roadshow, travelling to Shanghai, Shenyang, Jinan and Wuhan to showcase their brands to more than 3,000 importers, distributors, wholesalers, sommeliers, buyers, media, influencers and VIP consumers.

China is Australia’s number one and fastest growing wine export market by value, with the value of wine exports to China increasing 51% (to $1.04 billion) in the year to March 2018.

The Vinexpo mission and China Roadshow were supported by the Australian Government through the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.

Queensland businesses can get advice on exporting to Asian markets from their local TIQ trade and investment advisors.

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Digital influencers take state to students worldwide

Study Queensland has embraced the power of social media influencers in its latest campaign to attract students to the Sunshine State.

Carina Fragozo

Digital influencer Carina Fragozo has more than 560,000 social media followers in Brazil.

Study Queensland has embraced the power of social media influencers in its latest campaign to attract students to the Sunshine State.

Six international digital influencers, with a combined reach of around 2 million overseas fans, were invited to showcase Queensland during a week-long visit that included the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and tours of Brisbane, Cairns and the Sunshine Coast.

Study Queensland Executive Director Rebecca Hall said the Digital Influencer Program targeted students using the platforms they liked best.

‘Most, if not all, students are on social media so it is logical to take our message to them on the platforms they are comfortable with and using frequently,’ Ms Hall said.

‘Study Queensland chose 6 participants to promote Queensland as the new leading study destination.’

One of the most-followed influencers was Carina Fragozo from Brazil, a PhD student in linguistics who has a popular English-learning blog and more than 560,000 followers.

Carina visited English-language schools and universities across Queensland, and showcased the state’s study options to her followers.

This included creating 5 YouTube videos covering everything from Aussie slang to life in Queensland, each of which attracted more than 20,000 views.

Ms Hall said the digital influencers had communicated Queensland’s 3 key appeals as a study destination to young people around the world.

‘The program promoted the student lifestyle, education facilities and course offerings in Queensland to potential international students,’ Ms Hall said.

‘Each influencer shared their tour on their social channels, which resulted in more than 200 posts on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Weblog.

Study Queensland’s Instagram channel also received a boost, with followers up by 113%.’

Together, the 6 influencers engaged with audiences from the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Brazil, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Colombia, South Korea and Timor-Leste.

In 2017, there were 123,737 international student enrolments in Queensland, generating $4.37 billion for the economy.

The Digital Influencer Program is part of the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016-2026.

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Japanese robots to help outback kids learn

Japan’s NRI Robotics is working with Charters Towers School of Distance Education to trial the use of face-to-face communication robots to give outback students a better distance ed experience.

Japan’s NRI Robotics is working with Charters Towers School of Distance Education to trial the use of face-to-face communication robots to give distance-ed students a better learning experience.

The school already uses a range of innovative technology to support its 2,200 distance-ed students, but no current system gives teachers ‘real-life’ views of student groups in real time.

Movable NRI (Nomura Research Institute) robots will give teachers free-angle views of student groups in off-site locations, and enable isolated students (eg those in very remote locations or with disabilities that prevent travel) to better participate in virtual classrooms with other students.

Speaking to the Townsville Bulletin, NRI senior consultant Daisuke Yajima said NRI was interested in the global experience in education, and Queensland was ideal for trialling the robots in a distance education setting.

‘We did market research and we found the opportunity for using the robot,’ Mr Yajima said.

‘Charters Towers is the best place to incubate this business in the educational area.’

Announcing the trial, NRI said that the new system would make it easier for teachers to provide classes to groups, and allow them to keep tabs on students’ concentration and understanding by observing their expressions and behaviours.

NRI is a leading international provider of software and systems solutions, and is the parent company of Australian ICT company ASG Group Limited.

TIQ introduced NRI to the Charters Towers School of Distance Education, with TIQ Japan, TIQ Brisbane and TIQ Townsville all contributing to the successful outcome.

TIQ has also introduced a number of Queensland software development companies to NRI for potential partnerships on future stages of the project.

The robot trial started this month and is scheduled to end in August, with the goal of sending the service live in early 2019.

Queensland is a world leader in using innovative technology to deliver services such as education, healthcare and aged care over long distances, and this expertise is increasingly attractive to global investors and buyers.

Supporting innovation is also a priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you are interested in connecting with the Japanese business community, contact TIQ today.

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Investment in state’s minerals exploration grows

Investment in minerals exploration in Queensland has increased by 36% over the past 12 months, according to a recent report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Investment in minerals exploration in Queensland has increased by 36% over the past 12 months, according to a recent report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said this week’s Mineral and Petroleum Exploration Australian Bureau of Statistics Report showed that Queensland exploration expenditure continued to rise.

‘Investment in Queensland minerals exploration has increased by an impressive 36% to $266.6 million in 12 months, and 6% since December 2017,’ Dr Lynham said.

‘While the news has been good nationally (with a 25% increase), Queensland is outperforming the national average of exploration expenditure and in fact beating it by 11%.

‘Queensland’s boost in minerals exploration expenditure has come from strong growth in exploration for copper (up 65%), gold (up 22%) and coal (up 21%) over the 12 months to March 2018.

‘Our petroleum exploration expenditure also is up 40% on the previous 12 months, to $175 million.’

Dr Lynham said the Queensland Government was continuing to initiate a range of measures to promote exploration activities.

‘Our land release program, pre-competitive geoscience initiatives and financial incentives are important factors supporting the exploration in Queensland and these compliment the high commodity prices making our state ripe for investment,’ he said.

‘All evidence points to Queensland’s exploration windfall continuing to increase in coming quarters as global oil prices improve and gas producers continue to drill to ensure long-term gas for both domestic consumers and LNG exports.’

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

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Queensland innovators on show at BIO 2018

Some of Queensland’s best biotech companies have pitched to international venture capitalists at a special event held as part of the 2018 BIO International Convention in Boston.

Mark Ashton from UQ’s UniQuest presents to the Discover Queensland Innovation breakfast showcase in Boston.

Mark Ashton from UQ’s UniQuest presents to the Discover Queensland Innovation breakfast in Boston.

Some of Queensland’s best biotech companies have pitched to international venture capitalists at a special showcase event held as part of the 2018 BIO International Convention in Boston.

Potential investors attending the Discover Queensland Innovation breakfast heard pitches from a range of Queensland biotech firms, including DoseMe (precision-dosing software), QEDDI (drug discovery), and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (cancer inhibitor therapy).

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said overseas investment could help deliver the benefits of Queensland research to patients around the world.

‘In Queensland, we definitely punch above our weight globally when it comes to the quality of scientific research we produce in our state,’ the Premier said.

‘My government understands venture capital financing offers the best hope for emerging biotech SMEs to get their product up to the stage they can go to market.

‘While venture capital fundraising is on the rise in Australia – worth A$1 billion in the 2016–17 financial year – there is seven times more capital available here in the US.

‘That is why we held this showcase event during BIO, recognising the appetite in the US to invest in projects with long-term returns.’

Other groups pitching at the showcase included Microba, which is using cutting-edge technology to analyse gut health, and the University of Queensland’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, which is working on a more effective flu vaccine.

Boston, the host of the 2018 BIO International Convention, is one of the world’s largest biotech hubs, and home to some of the world’s largest biotech companies, including Sanofi and Pfizer.

This year marks Queensland’s 20th mission to the convention, which is running from 4–7 June.

The Queensland biotech showcase was held on the first day of the convention, and was organised by Life Sciences Queensland in conjunction with TIQ.

TIQ is accompanying a mission of more than 20 Queensland biotech companies that will exhibit at BIO 2018.

Biotechnology is one of the emerging export sectors identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Ten companies presented at the Queensland showcase:

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