October 2017

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First IET innovators in residence announced

Two internationally renowned thinkers will soon start work in Queensland as the first innovators under the new IET Industry Innovator in Residence program.

Gus Balbontin, former executive of Lonely Planet and one of the first Innovators in Residence.

Two internationally renowned thinkers will soon start work in Queensland as the first innovators appointed under the new International Education and Training (IET) Industry Innovator in Residence program.

Gus Balbontin, Former Executive Director of Lonely Planet, and Will Archer, founder of the i-graduate international student benchmarking program, will work on innovation projects designed to accelerate Queensland’s role as a global leader in international education.

Mr Balbontin successfully re-engineered Lonely Planet to tackle the shift from print to digital communication, and will work with Study Queensland to maximise its impact in today’s global education market.

Mr Archer has led the i-graduate research program for more than a decade, tracking and benchmarking student and stakeholder opinions of educational institutions around the world. He will identify new insights into how international students choose a study destination and how Queensland can take advantage of that knowledge.

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt said the new innovators would build on Queensland’s existing strength as a provider of international education and training.

‘Over the next six months, Gus and Will will work closely with TIQ’s International Education and Training Unit,’ he said.

‘They’ll help shape policy, drive innovation, and sharpen how we promote Queensland on the world stage.

‘I’m sure everyone involved in international education in our state will benefit from their advice, ideas and enthusiasm.’

More than 20 would-be innovators from multiple countries applied to the program, which funds visionary thinkers to spend one to six months on projects that support Queensland’s international education and training sector.

Recipients must spend significant time in Queensland, and projects must meet the objectives of the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

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

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Evolve Skateboards wins Exporter of the Year

Evolve Skateboards has been named Queensland’s Exporter of the Year at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2017.

The Evolve Skateboards team celebrates their win with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Treasurer Curtis Pitt.

Evolve Skateboards has been named Queensland’s Exporter of the Year at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2017.

Established on the Gold Coast in 2011, Evolve is now exporting its electric skateboards to more than 30 countries and generating revenue of more than $14 million per year.

Evolve was founded by Gold Coast surfer Jeff Anning after he was frustrated by the poor quality of available electric skateboards. Pursuing the dream of a high-quality electric machine that could deliver a true carving experience, Jeff and wife Fleur mortgaged their house and embarked on years of research and prototyping that ultimately led to the creation of a global skateboard brand.

Speaking at last night’s awards ceremony in Brisbane, Jeff said that the company had come a long way but was still living up to the Evolve name.

‘This was definitely surprising,’ he said.

‘The last two years have been a massive journey for us.

‘We are still innovating.’

Most Evolve skateboards are sold through the company’s Australian and overseas websites, and Jeff and Fleur also took out the E-Commerce category in last night’s awards.

All 17 export awards winners were announced at the 2017 presentation dinner in Brisbane on 19 October.

Others recognised for their export achievements included Brisbane’s Blast Movement Technologies in the Minerals and Energy category, Toowoomba’s AGT Foods for Agribusiness, and the Cairns College of English & Business for Education and Training.

Aerospace technology company TAE Aerospace took out the inaugural Defence award.

Evolve’s wins at this year’s awards are the latest in a long list of accolades, which have included taking out Regional Exporter of the Year at the 2016 export awards and winning the Small Business category at the 2015 export awards.

The Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards are managed by the Export Council of Australia on behalf of TIQ.

Increasing exports from Queensland is one of the main goals of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Queensland excels at India-Australia awards

Dr Dimity Dornan AO, founder and Executive Director of Hear and Say centres for deaf children, has been named Business Leader of the Year for 2017.

Dr Dimity Dornan AO accepts the award for Business Leader of the Year.

Queensland’s Dr Dimity Dornan AO, founder and Executive Director of Hear and Say centres for deaf children, has been named Business Leader of the Year in the 2017 India-Australia Business and Community Awards (IABCA).

All 14 winners were announced at the glittering IABCA awards evening at Brisbane City Hall on 13 October.

Dr Dornan is a speech pathologist who established Hear and Say in Brisbane in 1992 to help deaf children, young adults and their families. Since then, Hear and Say Worldwide has educated professionals in more than 42 countries on modern methods for working with deaf children. For the past 10 years, Dr Dornan has worked to bring professional training to Indian speech pathologists, audiologists and teachers.

Also on the winner’s list was Roshni Indian Restaurant in Mackay, named Indian Restaurant of the Year. Run by husband and wife team Raj Sharman and Jessica, Roshni is an expanding business that is also active in charity work, sponsorships and community engagement.

Recent Roshni good deeds have included offering a free community lunch on Christmas Day and providing free food to SES volunteers during Cyclone Debbie.

A third winner with a Queensland connection is Novotech CRO, which took out Australian Exporter of the Year. Novotech is one of the Asia-Pacific’s leading clinical trial companies, offering integrated clinical trial services for organisations involved in drug development. Headquartered in Sydney, Novotech also has a regional office in Brisbane.

IABCA celebrates the Australia-India relationship and honours migrant entrepreneurship and community leadership. TIQ was a major sponsor of this year’s awards, which were held in Brisbane for the first time.

For information on getting your product into Indian markets, connect with TIQ today.

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Gitesh becomes new TIQ India commissioner

Experienced businessman and former trade advisor Gitesh Agarwal has taken up the role of Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – India.

Experienced businessman and former trade advisor Gitesh Agarwal has taken up the role of Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – India in TIQ’s Bangalore office.

Gitesh comes to the commissioner role after more than 19 years in international business, including executive roles in the private sector and a decade as a trade and investment advisor for Austrade.

Speaking soon after being appointed commissioner in late September, Gitesh said he was keen to promote Queensland’s strengths in the Indian market.

‘I’m very excited to be working for what is arguably Australia’s most beautiful state,’ he said.

‘Queensland is home to an abundance of nature, resources and innovation, and it offers an enviable lifestyle.

‘As India leapfrogs to newer glories, Queensland is perfectly positioned to be its partner in areas such as energy, food security, health, innovation, education and skill development.’

Gitesh’s private-sector experience encompasses high-level executive roles in sales and strategic marketing, including five years with the high-profile Taj Hotels group.

He was also an Austrade advisor based in the east Indian city of Chennai, working with a wide range of Australian companies on strategies for entering Indian markets and attracting Indian investment. Major successes in that role included securing a large investment in Australian agribusiness.

Gitesh, who completed an MBA in Australia, said he was looking forward to bringing lessons learned from his past experience to his work as a TIQ commissioner.

‘I think I will bring to the role an understanding of possibilities, of cross-cultural respect, and of multiple industries,’ he said.

‘The team at TIQ India is highly experienced and appreciated, and I believe we are true enablers of an enhanced engagement between India and Queensland.’

For information on getting your product into Indian markets, connect with TIQ today.

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Probiotic Perkii takes on the world

The Queensland creators of probiotic drink PERKii are using $1.53m in government investment to increase production and sales nationally and internationally.

The Queensland creators of probiotic drink Perkii are using $1.53 million in government investment to increase production and expand sales across Australia and internationally.

Perkii sells a range of natural-flavoured drinks that contain long-lasting ‘progel’ probiotics created using a unique process developed at the University of Queensland.

Launched in 2016, Perkii is manufactured in Coopers Plains and sold through supermarkets, cafes and health stores.

Perkii CEO Matthew Kowal said the grant from the Business Development Fund was a game-changer for the company.

‘As well as a vote of confidence, this investment means we can invest in our people, our facilities, and in research and development to deliver new growth areas for Perkii and the Queensland economy,’ Mr Kowal said.

‘It will also help us improve the production capacity of our Queensland-based encapsulation process.’

Perkii Chairman and UniSeed CEO Dr Peter Devine said the grant helped to highlight the commercial potential of university research and entrepreneurship to the wider economy.

‘This generous support gives Perkii the opportunity to investigate and develop further commercial avenues for the product,’ Dr Devine said.

‘We are thrilled to see Perkii’s success in the short time since its launch, and look forward to seeing it flourish through further product development and expansion nationally and internationally.’

The $40 million Business Development Fund is an Advance Queensland initiative, with Perkii among 16 innovative Queensland businesses to receive fund investment to date.

Investments range from $125,000 to $2.5 million to help businesses turn their ideas and innovations into commercial realities. Investments must be at least matched by private sector co-investors.

Increasing exports is one of the main goals of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

For information on getting your product into overseas markets, connect with TIQ today.

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Small Business Digital Grants closing soon

Queensland small businesses have until 24 October to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to help them go digital.

Queensland small businesses have until 24 October to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to help them go digital and take advantage of online business opportunities.

Digital skills are increasingly important for small business, yet many Queensland operators are still learning the digital ropes. A 2016 survey by CCIQ found that fewer than 25 per cent of the Queensland businesses surveyed were selling online.

The Small Business Digital Grants Program is one of a number of Queensland Government initiatives to address this issue.

The program provides funding to help small businesses buy hardware, software or services to enhance their digital capability, become more competitive and employ more staff.

Grants range from $1,000 to $10,000, and are matched to the business’s own financial contribution.

All projects must fall within one of four priority areas:

  • content development (web pages, mobile apps, visual and audio media etc.)
  • receiving payments or selling online
  • specialised digital technology or software (business-specific)
  • digital planning, marketing strategy development, and training.

Businesses applying must have fewer than 20 employees and a turnover of $2 million or less in the last financial year.

The Small Business Digital Grants are coordinated by the Queensland Government’s Office of Small Business.

TIQ has also been working to boost the digital capacity of small business. In August, TIQ staff ran ecommerce training workshops across South East Queensland in conjunction with Alibaba Group, the world’s largest online and mobile ecommerce company.

Applications for the Small Business Digital Grants are due by 5pm Tuesday 24 October. To learn more, read the application guidelines.

Providing e-commerce training for SMEs is one of 22 initiatives included in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Indonesia trade briefing for Bundy businesses

Businesses in the Bundaberg region will have the chance to hear about trade opportunities with one of Australia’s nearest neighbours.

Businesses in the Bundaberg region will have the chance to hear about trade opportunities with one of Australia’s nearest neighbours during a breakfast briefing hosted by Queensland’s Trade and Investment Commissioner to Indonesia.

Oka Simanjuntak will be providing an overview of the Indonesia market – with a particular focus on education and agribusiness – and answering questions about doing business there on Monday, 23 October 2017, at the CQU Bundaberg Campus.

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Curtis Pitt, said Mr Simanjuntak would be visiting Bundaberg as part of Queensland’s International Business Series (QIBS), which is being organised by Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ).

“With a population of over 250 million, a growing middle class and an increasing demand for quality Australian products, Indonesia offers a number of business opportunities for Queensland companies,” Mr Pitt said.

“Nowhere else have we seen the expansion of the middle class that we have in Indonesia and this has been accompanied by a corresponding growth in demand for education and food products.”

Mr Simanjuntak said he would also be holding one-on-one meetings with companies.

“Indonesia has the largest economy in South East Asia and is Queensland’s tenth largest merchandise export market,” Mr Simanjuntak said.

“Its proximity to Queensland, its demographics and its ambitious development plans offer significant opportunities for Queensland companies.”

Preliminary data for 2016-17 shows Queensland’s merchandise exports to Indonesia were valued at $985.7 million, an increase of 24 per cent or $191.7 million on the previous 12 months.

Queensland’s trade commissioners will be visiting the South East and regional Queensland during QIBS, which runs from 16 to 28 October 2017. QIBS is organised by Trade and Investment Queensland, the government’s global business agency.

For more information on the breakfast briefing or to register your attendance, please contact TIQ Principal Trade and Investment Officer, Diane Anstee, on 41517954 or 0427436872 or email diane.anstee@tiq.qld.gov.au

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Biojet fuel trial for Brisbane Airport

Brisbane Airport will become a trial biojet refuelling port under a new agreement between Virgin Australia and US-based renewable fuel producer Gevo Inc.

Brisbane Airport will become a trial biojet refuelling port under a new agreement between Virgin Australia and US-based renewable fuel producer Gevo Inc.

Under the new agreement, announced last week, the two companies will trial sustainable aviation fuel through Brisbane Airport’s fuel supply system.

The biojet, which comes from sources such as sugarcane bagasse, molasses and wood waste, will be blended with traditional jet fuel and supplied to flights departing Brisbane over the next two years.

The initiative marks the first time in Australia that biojet will be supplied through an airport’s regular fuel supply system and the first time in the world that biojet produced using the alcohol-to-jet process will be supplied to an airport’s regular fuel supply system.

Virgin Australia Group CEO John Borghetti said the trial built on Virgin Australia’s commitment to be a leader in the commercialisation of the sustainable aviation fuel industry in Australia.

‘The agreement announced today is critical to testing the fuel supply chain infrastructure in Australia to ensure that Virgin Australia and Brisbane Airport are ready for the commercial supply of these exciting fuels,’ Mr Borghetti said.

Virgin will coordinate the purchase, supply and blending of the fuels, working closely with Gevo, Brisbane Airport Corporation, the Queensland Government, and other stakeholders.

Gevo CEO Dr Patrick Gruber said that although his company would initially supply jet fuel from its US-based production plants, there would be significant opportunities for production in Queensland in the longer term.

‘When I visited Queensland last year for the Biofutures Industry Forum, I discovered the depth and diversity of your agriculture sector,’ Dr Gruber said.

‘We believe Queensland offers huge potential for low-cost sugar feedstocks to produce biofuels.’

Premier Annastacia Palaczszuk said that biofuels were a key element of the Queensland Government’s Biofutures Roadmap, and the biojet trial was another step towards a biofuels industry for the state.

‘To get up and running, industrial-scale biorefineries need a critical mass of customers to supply,’ she said.

‘That’s why it’s vital to get big industries like aviation and defence on board as potential customers.’

Work on using biojet as a complementary fuel source to conventional jet aviation fuel has been underway for more than a decade, and the fuel is now being supplied at airports at Oslo and Los Angeles, including on Virgin Australia’s services from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Biofutures is one of the emerging industries identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Expert advice for Gladstone entrepreneurs

Gladstone start-ups are being encouraged to take advantage of expert business advice available from local organisation Club of Entrepreneurs.

Gladstone start-ups are being encouraged to take advantage of expert business advice available from local organisation Club of Entrepreneurs.

The club provides two-day workshops each month that cover topics such as starting a business, finance, accounting and marketing.

Better still, participants leave the workshops with a complete business plan that they can put into practice.

An initiative of Start-up Gladstone Inc, the workshops have already received high praise from participants.

Startup President Luis Arroyo said that the workshops were low-cost but high-quality.

‘The prices of those sessions is $100, which is an absolute bargain for the content … we ran one Club of Entrepreneurs session in August, and the feedback we got was remarkable,’ Mr Arroyo said.

‘We are very sure that the delivery responds to the business needs in the Gladstone market.’

Mr Arroyo said that more established businesses were also welcome to attend the workshops to refresh their business knowledge and network with other participants

Club of Entrepreneurs receives funding support from the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland program.

While many previous participants have had an interest in emerging technologies, businesses from all sectors are welcome to participate.

The next workshops will run again in mid-October and mid-November, and businesses interested in attending should email Mr Arroyo at president@startupgladstone.org.au.

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

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Investment roadshow tours US, UK and China

Renewable energy, aerospace investment and even craft beer bars were on the agenda during the Queensland Treasurer’s recent trip.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt speaks to a London investor breakfast.

Renewable energy, aerospace investment and even craft beer bars were on the agenda during the Queensland Treasurer’s recent overseas trip to promote Queensland’s investment opportunities.

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt spent six days during September leading an international investment roadshow to New York, London and Shanghai.

As well as investor breakfasts with business groups, Mr Pitt spent time in one-on-one meetings with fund managers and companies, including some of the world’s most important players.

‘In New York, I met with BlackRock, the world’s largest funds manager, with US5.7 trillion in assets under management,’ Mr Pitt said.

‘BlackRock has recently invested in renewable energy projects, so I was able to tell them about our Powering Queensland Plan and the government’s strong commitment to a clean energy future.

‘In London I met with Airbus, a leading aerospace industry player, which already has a significant presence in Queensland, to discuss its potential future investment plans.’

Mr Pitt also met with a highly successful Scottish craft brewer during his time in the UK.

‘I had a productive meeting with BrewDog, a craft brewery established in 2007 based on a crowdfunding model,’ he said.

‘The company is now valued at £1 billion and has 45 bars in the UK, western Europe, Japan and the USA.

‘The company is looking to expand to Australia with a local brewery.’

In Shanghai, Mr Pitt met with China’s second-largest asset manager, Ping An Asset Management Company.

Ping An has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Queensland Investment Corporation.

Attracting direct foreign investment to Queensland is one of the key goals of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you would like advice on attracting investment to your Queensland enterprise, connect with TIQ today.

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