August 2018

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Freedom Screens to up export activity

Gold Coast business Freedom Screens is set to employ 6 more staff and increase its export presence using a grant from the Queensland Government’s Made in Queensland program.

Gold Coast business Freedom Screens is set to employ 6 more staff and increase its export presence using a grant from the Queensland Government’s Made in Queensland program.

Made in Queensland offers matched grants to help Queensland’s manufacturing sector become more internationally competitive and adopt innovative processes and technologies.

Freedom Screens manufactures innovative retractable fly screens for doors and windows, and already has a significant export market.

Freedom Screens Australia General Manager Kathy Talbot said the Currumbin company would use its $105,680 grant to manufacture an integrated system to enhance adaptability for various door configurations.

She said the grant would also enable the company to build an automated test jig to improve quality assurance, widen its market share and hone its competitive edge.

‘It is anticipated this grant will allow Freedom Screens to put on another 6 jobs,’ Ms Talbot said.

‘We predict that most people doing builds and renovations will require a sleeker, more discrete look, which the new ZL2 integrated system will provide.

‘Freedom Screens currently exports to 7 countries and international sales are an ever-increasing part of our business.’

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the Queensland Government was supporting the state’s manufacturing businesses to become more internationally competitive.

‘Our government is focused on driving the manufacturing industry forwards by supporting companies to be internationally competitive and to inject new innovation into their business,’ he said.

‘The Gold Coast is Queensland’s top region outside Brisbane for manufacturing work, with around 21,400 people employed in the industry, so we know this sector is an important economic contributor for this region.’

The Made in Queensland program offers matching grants of between $50,000 and $2.5 million to manufacturers looking to adopt innovative processes and technologies to generate highly skilled jobs and become more internationally competitive.

Manufacturers must go dollar-for-dollar with the government to fund business improvements.

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

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Business Growth grants available now

Queensland SMEs looking to expand and employ more staff are being invited to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to help grow their businesses.

Queensland SMEs looking to expand their business and employ more staff are being invited to apply for grants of up to $50,000 from the Queensland Government’s Business Growth Fund.

The fund helps small to medium-sized businesses buy and implement specialised equipment or services to help them seize growth opportunities.

Businesses need to demonstrate how a grant would help them move to the next stage of growth, and successful applicants must contribute 25%–50% of the total project cost.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said that the grants could be used for services such as advice and mentoring as well as equipment.

‘The Business Growth Fund will provide targeted assistance so that businesses can purchase specialised equipment or access professional advice to help their business grow,’ she said.

‘We want more businesses to expand sustainably with expert advice and support, to provide Queenslanders with strong stable jobs.

‘This is a huge opportunity for Queensland businesses looking to take their business to the next level of growth, with more than $2 million in funding available.’

The Business Growth Fund is open to Queensland businesses with fewer than 50 employees and a minimum turnover of $500,000.

Applicants will go through a 2-stage assessment process, including a Shark Tank–style pitch during which they’ll have to put their plans to a panel of business experts.

Growth opportunities can include expanding into overseas markets through ecommerce or other export activities.

Applications are now open and will continue to be accepted until all money in the fund has been allocated.

For more information, see the Business Growth Fund Guidelines and application form.

The Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022 includes a number of initiatives to support the state’s small to medium-sized enterprises.

If you’re a Queensland business interested in exporting your products, connect with TIQ to find out about the full range of services available to SMEs.

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Asia Agri-Tech welcomes Queensland innovators

Geotagging for cows, drone solutions for weeds, and biological treatments for algae were all on show at the Asia Agri-Tech Expo & Forum in Taiwan recently, as Queensland innovations were showcased to buyers from around the world.

Geotagging for cows, drone solutions for weeds, and biological treatments for algae were all on show at the Asia Agri-Tech Expo & Forum in Taiwan recently, as Queensland innovations were showcased to buyers from around the world.

This year’s Asia Agri-Tech focused on technological innovations in agriculture, livestock and aquaculture, attracting more than 25,000 visitors from 34 countries.

TIQ’s Taiwan office presented the work of 3 Queensland agritech companies recommended by TIQ’s Brisbane-based Urban Infrastructure and Knowledge Industries (UIKI) team .

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Taiwan Patrick Hafenstein said it was a great opportunity to present the Queensland projects to buyers from across Asia.

‘We were very pleased to feature 3 of the state’s most exciting agritech companies in a Queensland presentation,’ he said.

‘We showcased the work of Ceres Tag, who are developing smart eartags for livestock; InFarm, who are working on drone-to-tractor weed solutions for farmers; and MBD Industries, who offer bioremediation to treat and prevent algae.

‘We had around 30 buyers in the audience, a number of whom followed up with us afterwards.’

Mr Hafenstein said it was the second year Taiwan had hosted Asia Agri-Tech, and encouraged more Queenslanders to consider attending next year.

‘It’s a platform to promote your product in a region experiencing huge population growth, increasing food and food-security needs, and a desire to look to innovation to make agriculture more sustainable in every way,’ he said.

‘TIQ Taiwan is also happy to hear from Queensland agritech innovators at any time if they feel their product is suitable for export to Taiwan or other parts of Asia.

‘We work closely with other TIQ offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and India to help identify regional export opportunities in particular sectors.’

Mr Hafenstein said staff from TIQ Taiwan would stay in touch with the featured Queensland companies and work to identify potential local business partnerships for them.

TIQ’s UIKI team will also continue to work with these and other Queensland tech companies seeking international investors and export opportunities.

The Asia Agri-Tech Expo & Forum ran from 26 to 28 July at the Taipei World Trade Centre, and featured around 210 exhibitors from 19 countries.

Agri-Tech organisers estimate total sales from the event were around $10 million USD.

Increasing Queensland exports is a key goal of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you think you have a product that could succeed in the Taiwan market, connect with TIQ.

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PNG agreement to aid ag exports

Agricultural exports from Queensland to Papua New Guinea are just one of the areas set to benefit under an agreement signed last week by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Queensland Premier with Prime Minister of Papua New GuineaQueensland’s agricultural exports to Papua New Guinea are just one of the areas set to benefit from an agreement signed last week by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

The four-year Queensland–Papua New Guinea Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlines priority areas for cooperation and builds on successive MOUs in place since March 1992.

Cooperative activities covered in the MOU include:

  • further promoting agricultural exports between Queensland and PNG, and exploring opportunities to provide expert advice on developing a range of agricultural industries in PNG (eg avocados, pineapples, mangos and beef cattle)
  • exploring opportunities to increase healthcare training for PNG women
  • continuing to provide assistance to the Kokoda Track Authority on track upgrades, slope stabilisation and regeneration (through the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service)
  • continuing to assist PNG Fire Services with emergency response communications (through Queensland Fire and Emergency Services)
  • continuing the PNG-Australia Policing Partnership Placement Program.

Ms Palaszczuk said trade was one area that would benefit under the new MOU.

‘With 43.1% of Australia’s total merchandise exports to PNG coming from Queensland, the MOU recognises the desire to further promote our exports and share expert advice on developing agricultural industries within PNG,’ she said.

‘Many activities in the schedule are mutually beneficial in nature and support the Queensland Government’s Our Future State priorities, especially those which centre on trade and health.’

Ms Palaszczuk and Mr O’Neill signed the MOU on 6 August in Brisbane, coinciding with the Papua New Guinea Investment Conference 2018.

Increasing Queensland exports is a key goal of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Envirosuite wins LatAm Accelerator award

Queensland company Envirosuite has taken out a major win in the Australian – Latin American Market Entry Accelerator Program.

Envirosuite software

Envirosuite’s software is used to carry out real-time environmental monitoring and management.

Queensland company Envirosuite has taken out a major win in the Australian – Latin American Market Entry Accelerator Program.

The LatAm Accelerator program offers mentoring, introductions and pitching opportunities to help Australian companies export successfully to the LatAm market.

Launched in late 2017, the program invited 10 Australian companies to participate in a 6-month mentoring program followed by a pitching contest in Chile in April this year.

Brisbane-based Envirosuite came home big winners from the pitching contest, taking out both the Water Tech category and People’s Choice Award.

Envirosuite CEO Peter White said the win would help springboard the company into the Latin American market.

‘Our Envirosuite software enables companies to carry out real-time environmental monitoring and management so that they can meet their environmental obligations, minimise risk, and optimise their performance,’ he said.

‘We’re already working with a range of high-profile companies in Australia, including Veolia, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

‘This win in the accelerator program means we will receive further support to help us take our world-class product to LatAm companies.

‘We signed our first two Envirosuite clients in Chile earlier this month, and we’re very excited about building this new market further.’

Speaking to Australian Anthill, accelerator founder John O’Brien said the Latin American market had many similarities to Australia.

He said the contest judges were looking for Australian agritech, mining, energy and water companies that could transfer their technology to the LatAm environment.

‘The judges were looking for Australian technology companies with the greatest chance of building significant export markets in Latin America,’ he said.

‘This program offers immense opportunities in a market environment that is often overlooked.’

Queensland had a great showing in the program, with 3 other Queensland companies also participating in the mentoring and pitching phases: Ceres Tag (smart ear tags for farm animals), Obzervr (online field data collection) and Core Resources (mine process technology).

The Australian – Latin American Market Entry Accelerator Program is supported by the Australian Government through the Council on Australia Latin America Relations.

TIQ staff in Brisbane and Santiago office are now working with Envirosuite to identify additional potential LatAm clients.

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

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New concierge service introduced for TIQ callers

Callers approaching TIQ for business advice should find it easier to navigate their export or investment journey following the launch of TIQ’s new concierge service this month.

Callers approaching TIQ for business advice should find it easier to navigate their export or investment journeys following the launch of TIQ’s new concierge service this month.

TIQ CEO Virginia Greville said the new service was designed to quickly connect Queensland and international companies with the right services to help them with their export or investment enquiries.

‘Surveys have found that business people sometimes find it difficult to know which government agency or private organisation they should approach for help at different points in their export or investment journeys,’ she said.

‘In response, we are introducing this new service for callers or those who contact us through our website to refer them to the right place to meet their needs, whether that’s inside or outside of TIQ, in government or in the private sector.

‘This new service will be a pilot so that we can see how it works and adjust it if necessary to best meet business needs.’

Ms Greville said more than 200 companies, individuals and prospective investors a month contact TIQ looking for advice and assistance.

‘Many companies are not yet export- or investment-ready, and many investors are just beginning to explore Queensland’s opportunities,’ she said.

‘But we still want to make sure they get the best possible advice and help, so that our Queensland businesses can be successful exporters and attractive investment projects, and international investors can get the information and introductions they need.

‘Our new concierge will be able to assess their needs and connect them to one of TIQ’s expert advisors, or to another organisation if that’s more appropriate.’

Enquiries to TIQ’s concierge service can be made through the TIQ website, or by telephoning (07) 3514 3147.

The concierge service is one of 22 initiatives in the $35 million Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Dawson West mine gets green light for sampling

A new Central Queensland coal mine will start sending samples to power stations for testing in coming months, after being granted permission by the Queensland Government to establish a bulk sample pit.

A new Central Queensland coal mine will start sending samples to power stations for testing in coming months, after being granted permission by the Queensland Government to establish a bulk sample pit.

The flagship project for CMR Coal, Dawson West is an open-cut and underground coal mine, located 50km south-west of Moura and targeting coal in the Bowen Basin.

CMR is partnering with experienced coal miner LDO Group for the development and ultimate operation of the mine.

The Queensland Government has granted CMR a mineral development licence over the Dawson West project, and has now given permission for a bulk sample pit to be established in the project area.

CMR will aim to extract up to 250,000t of thermal coal from the sample pit, providing 30,000–50,000t to power plants in Australia and overseas in order to test the suitability of the coal product.

CMR’s previous testing has identified that coal from the Dawson West deposit has a high calorific value.

This means it has a high energy density and lower than average quantities of sulfur and trace elements, producing fewer emissions per unit of electricity generated compared to coal with a lower calorific value.

A haul road will be constructed through a nearby road reserve to enable the coal samples to be trucked to an existing train loadout facility at Moura.

In the longer term, CMR has plans to develop a large-scale underground mine producing more than 6Mt per year of run-of-mine (ROM) coal, incorporating a new 79km rail spur to connect the Dawson West mine to the Moura Coal Rail System.

CMR is currently seeking further investment in the Dawson West mine, and TIQ has been working with the company to identify overseas investment partners looking for advanced thermal coal projects.

Mineral resources are identified as one of Queensland’s major export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Rising coal prices are one of the major contributors to Queensland’s strong export figures this year.

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Fresh approach to promoting international education

‘Start here. Go Anywhere’ – that’s the new catchcry being used to promote Queensland’s growing international education sector to potential students overseas.

Start here. Go Anywhere’ – that’s the new catchcry being used to promote Queensland’s international education opportunities to potential students overseas.

The new motto was unveiled at the International Education and Training (IET) Summit in Cairns in late June, where more than 240 delegates from around Australia gathered to discuss IET trends and opportunities.

Launching the motto at the summit, Tourism Industry Development Minister and Ministerial Champion for International Education Kate Jones said that choosing to study in Queensland was a starting point that could empower any international student to take on the world with confidence.

‘[It] is all about saying to students – no matter what you hope to achieve in your career, Queensland is the place to make it happen,’ she said.

In another fresh move, TIQ’s International Education and Training Unit officially changed its name to Study Queensland as of 1 July.

Study Queensland Acting Executive Director Scott Ashton said that ‘Start here. Go Anywhere’ had already been well received by stakeholders, and by current and prospective international students.

‘We had great feedback at the summit about the new concept, from both education providers and the regional local councils who are helping to promote Queensland’s international ed opportunities overseas.

‘We’ve also had a very positive response through social media from current and potential students.

‘I think it’s a great way to capture the unique, high-quality experiences that Queensland offers to international students, and to encourage a unified, statewide approach to marketing our offering overseas.’

Study Queensland’s marketing team is currently developing materials based on the new concept, with a campaign for students scheduled to commence by the end of this year.

For more information, contact Cinta Grimaitre at Study Queensland.

International education is identified as Queensland’s second-largest services export in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Huds and Toke targets US horse industry

Sunshine Coast business Huds and Toke will ramp up efforts to export its healthy horse treats to the US market, after becoming one of 70 Queensland companies to receive a grant in the latest round of the Ignite Ideas Fund.

Sunshine Coast business Huds and Toke will ramp up efforts to export its healthy horse treats to the US market, after becoming one of 70 Queensland companies to receive a grant in the latest round of the Ignite Ideas Fund.

The Warana-based pet-treats company will receive $100,000 in funding, which it will use to scale up operations and support its export push into the USA.

Huds and Toke CEO Russell Gibbons said the business, which began by manufacturing healthy treats for dogs and cats, was looking forward to expanding the market for its equine products.

‘The business is now at an exciting stage of expanding into Queensland-made treats and food for horses,’ Mr Gibbons said.

‘With the Ignite Ideas funding, we are set to target the US market that is worth $122 billion, of which the $18 billion recreational horse market is our direct market.

‘We have proven a success in cracking new markets, using a combination of old-school and leading-edge marketing techniques, including engaging social-media horse-industry influencers and the largest distributor in the Australian equine industry.

‘Through this expansion, we will be creating 4 new jobs in Queensland.’

Founded in 2013 on the kitchen table of Mr Gibbons’ family home, Huds and Toke already sells through more than 800 Australian stores and exports to Germany and Japan.

The company’s expansion into the Japanese market was supported by an earlier Ignite Ideas grant in 2017, which was used to purchase additional plant and equipment and get professional advice on exporting.

Huds and Toke also received advice and support from TIQ advisors when breaking into the German and Japanese markets.

The company’s products include horse training treats, horse cookies (in flavours such as carrot, molasses, and coconut), turmeric horse treats, and horse Christmas cookies.

The Ignite Ideas program has now distributed $34.65 million in funding to a total of 271 Queensland businesses over 4 rounds of funding.

Ignite Ideas is part of the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland initiative, and helps start-ups and small to medium-sized businesses commercialise innovative ideas so they can compete globally and create new jobs.

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

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Queensland's Tooletries a winner in export markets

Queensland success story Tooletries is urging other local companies to enter state and national export awards after reaping the benefits of winning at the awards last year.

Josh and Saul from Tooletries

Capitalising on the manscaping trend – brothers Josh and Saul Cockburn, founders of the globally successful Tooletries.

Queensland success story Tooletries is urging other local companies to enter state and national export awards after reaping the benefits of winning two awards last year.

Brisbane-based Tooletries sells silicone storage solutions for men’s grooming products, with 100% of its revenue in 2016–17 coming from export sales, primarily to the USA.

The company won the Small Business Award at both the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards and the Australian Export Awards in 2017.

Co-founder Saul Cockburn said that winning the awards had delivered real benefits for the company he started with brother Josh in 2014.

‘The export awards have been great for our business,’ he said.

‘They are recognised in many export markets, especially Asia, and we have definitely seen interest in our business directly off the back of winning the awards – which is fantastic.

‘We also achieved our goal of letting everyone know what we do and getting more public recognition for it at home.’

Saul said taking out the national award was a special moment for the proud Queenslanders, and encouraged other Queensland companies to get involved.

‘We were really excited when we heard our names read out,’ he said.

‘We are a proud Queensland business and we want to show others that you do not have to be from Sydney or Melbourne to make a splash.

‘I would advise any company thinking of entering the awards to go for it!

‘The effort is definitely worth it.’

Entries for the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2018 are closing soon.

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

Read more of the Tooletries story (including all about their famous shower beer-holder) in our full interview with Saul on TIQ’s Medium page.

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