November 2018

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Queensland on show at Japan’s World Robot Summit

More than 40,000 people flocked to the World Robot Summit in Tokyo recently to see the latest in robot tech, including products developed by star performers from Queensland’s robotics sector.

Mackenzie Jackson from Conpago

Conpago founder Mackenzie Jackson at the World Robot Summit in Tokyo. Congapo develops tech products to connect older people to family, carers and the community.

More than 40,000 people flocked to the World Robot Summit in Tokyo recently to see the latest in robot tech, including products developed by star performers from Queensland’s robotics sector.

TIQ and QUT Bluebox hosted a booth at the summit, which featured Queensland robotics businesses.

Robotics teams from Queensland schools and from the QUT Bluebox Robotics Accelerator program also attended.

The theme for this year’s summit was ‘Robotics for Happiness’, with a focus on the potential for collaboration between humans and robots in the future.

Eight Queensland robotics businesses attended, displaying a wide range of robotics applications, including drones, humanoid assistants, plant automation robots and educational desktop bots.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Japan Tak Adachi said the event, which was organised by the Japanese Government, highlighted Japan as a world centre for robotics.

‘The summit was a unique opportunity to showcase Queensland’s robotics sector to some of the world’s leading robotics firms, buyers and researchers,’ he said.

‘We also organised a site visit program that gave Queensland delegates quality time with major users of robotics such as Softbank, Yaskawa Electronics and UD Trucks.’

Mr Adachi said TIQ Tokyo staff would pursue connections made at the summit to create opportunities for innovative Queensland companies.

Queensland school students also did the state proud at the event, with Merrimac State High School bringing home a swag of awards for coding and documentation in the World Robot Competition Junior Challenge Trial Competition.

The World Robot Summit was held in Tokyo from 19–21 October, with the next summit planned to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Advanced manufacturing and knowledge industries are identified as emerging export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

QUEENSLAND ROBOTICS COMPANIES ATTENDING:

Queensland companies attending the World Robot Summit with TIQ were:

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Queensland Defence Summit promotes new opportunities

Local businesses heard all about opportunities in Queensland’s growing defence industry at the state’s inaugural Queensland Defence Summit at Ipswich recently.

Queensland Defence SummitQueensland businesses heard all about opportunities in the state’s growing defence industry at the inaugural Queensland Defence Summit at Ipswich recently.

The Ipswich region is becoming a centre for Queensland’s defence sector, with the news earlier this year that Germany’s Rheinmetall Defence would establish a major manufacturing facility at Redbank.

Rheinmetall’s Redbank facility will manufacture 211 Boxer combat reconaissance vehicles to fulfil a major contract for the Australian Defence Force, with flow-on opportunities for Queensland businesses to participate in Rheinmetall’s supply chain.

These supply-chain opportunities were explored at the summit, which was held at the Springfield campus of the University of Southern Queensland on 20 November.

Expert speakers from government and industry briefed businesses on opportunities in defence-related manufacturing, logistics, exports, innovation, research and partnerships.

TIQ was represented at the summit by Julie Mark, Principal Trade and Investment Officer for the Ipswich Region.

Almost 10% of employment in Ipswich is in the defence industry and associated supply chain.

The Queensland Government is aiming to significantly increase the state’s revenue from the defence industry through its Queensland Defence Industries 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.

Recent government initiatives have included establishing three expert advisory groups to provide advice about developing Queensland’s defence industry, including investment attraction.

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

The first sod was turned for construction of the Rheinmetall facility at Redbank on 16 November.

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New undersea cable to connect Sunshine Coast to Asia

A new undersea fibre-optic cable will be extended to the Sunshine Coast, giving the region Australia’s fastest telecommunications connection to Asia from 2020.

A new undersea fibre-optic cable will be extended to the Sunshine Coast, giving the region Australia’s fastest telecommunications connection to Asia from 2020.

The International Broadband Submarine Cable will be delivered by RTI Connectivity for the Sunshine Coast Council – the first Australian council to secure a communications project of this magnitude.

RTI is currently leading a consortium with Google and AARNet to build a 9,600-kilometre submarine cable between Japan, Guam, and Australia (JGA-South), with a 550-kilometre branch to connect the JGA-South cable to a new landing station at Maroochydore City Centre.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said securing a Queensland landing point for the cable was a long-term economic game-changer that would benefit the entire state.

‘The reality is only a small volume of international telecommunications is delivered via satellite, with 95–99% of Australia’s internet needs serviced by a limited number of undersea cables coming into Sydney and Perth,’ he said.

‘This is a risk and limitation for Australia’s internet connectivity and commercial data centre capacity, particularly here in Queensland, where a majority of our telecommunications traffic has to be routed through Sydney.

‘A submarine cable on the Sunshine Coast will not only diversify the landing locations for telecommunications traffic, but will also provide speed, reliability and capacity improvements for the whole of the state, as well as cheaper connections for Queenslanders who will no longer have to pay for international data to travel via Sydney.’

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the international broadband cable would deliver major economic benefits to the region.

‘The Sunshine Coast is a rapidly growing region and this project will help drive the continued diversification of our local economy, generate revenue, and position our region to attract new business and investment, particularly organisations with big-data requirements,’ he said.

‘Our studies have indicated that this project will create up to 864 new jobs for our local region and could add $927 million to the Queensland economy.’

The Queensland Government is supporting the undersea cable project with $15 million from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

Construction will begin on land-based sections of the new network in early 2019, with the cable scheduled to be ready for service by 2020.

Asia is identified as Queensland’s most important export market in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022, which also supports greater digital capabilities for Queensland businesses.

For advice or support on local trade and investment opportunities, contact TIQ’s Sunshine Coast office.

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Paris opportunities for Queensland start-ups at Station F

Queensland start-ups looking to get a foothold in Europe are being urged to consider a stint in Paris at Station F, the world’s largest innovation hub.

Station F interiorQueensland start-ups looking to get a foothold in Europe are being urged to consider a stint in Paris at Station F, the world’s largest innovation hub.

With more than 3,000 desks, 26 international start-up programs and a thriving start-up ecosystem, Station F is unique.

After visiting Station F recently, Queensland Deputy Trade and Investment Commissioner for Europe Warren Bartlett said it was a real option that Queensland tech entrepreneurs should consider.

‘It’s an amazing space under one roof, and could be an excellent location for Queensland tech start-ups to launch in Europe,’ he said.

‘Backed by the likes of Business France and La French Tech, it offers a full concierge service to simplify the process of setting up in Paris.

‘And, due to the strong interest from international entrepreneurs, Station F is developing 3 residential towers of co-living space for its community.’

Station F cafeLocated in the 13th arrondissement in Paris, close to the François-Mitterrand Library and the creative Paris Rive Gauche district, Station F also features restaurants, cafes and events that are open to the public.

The Station F Founders Program charges 195 euros a month for a standard desk with access to facilities, while the Station F Fighters Program provides free access for entrepreneurs who face disadvantage of some kind.

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

Queensland start-ups interested in applying to Station F or entering the European market can contact TIQ Europe for more information.

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Australia ratifies TPP-11 trade agreement

Australian became the sixth country to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) on 31 October, opening the door to improved international market access for a range of Australian producers and businesses.

Australia became the sixth country to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) on 31 October, opening the door to improved international market access for a range of Australian producers and businesses.

TPP-11 is a new treaty that incorporates most of the provisions of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which was signed in 2016 but did not come into force.

TPP-11 reaffirms the participating countries’ commitment to maintaining open markets, increasing world trade, and creating new economic opportunities for people of all incomes and economic backgrounds.

The treaty was signed in Chile in March this year by 11 countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Since then, each participating country has been going through the domestic processes required to ratify the treaty.

Announcing the ratification, the Australian Government said that the treaty would come into force on 30 December this year.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) says key benefits to Australian exporters will include:

  • new reductions in Japan’s tariffs on fresh, chilled and frozen beef
  • new access for dairy products into Japan, Canada and Mexico, including the elimination of cheese tariffs into Japan
  • new sugar access into the Japanese, Canadian and Mexican markets
  • tariff reductions and new access for cereals and grains into Japan, including rice
  • elimination of all tariffs on sheep meat, cotton and wool
  • elimination of tariffs on seafood, horticulture and wine
  • elimination of all tariffs on industrial products (manufactured goods).

Queensland agricultural exporters are likely to be among those to benefit from the new agreement.

More information on TPP-11 outcomes can be found on the DFAT website.

If you would like advice or support to take advantage of Australia’s free trade agreements to export your product, contact TIQ.

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TIQ delivers 248 export deals in 2017–18

TIQ delivered 248 export deals and helped to attract 18 international investments in Queensland projects last financial year, as well as expanding its network of overseas and regional offices.

2017–18 TIQ annual reportTIQ delivered 248 export deals and helped to attract 18 international investments last financial year, as well as expanding Queensland’s trade presence overseas.

These and many other achievements from the past 12 months are showcased in the 2017–18 TIQ annual report, which was tabled in parliament recently.

Other highlights of the year included:

  • hosting 14 international inbound delegations to regional Queensland
  • arranging 11 Minister-led overseas missions
  • helping to deliver Trade 2018, the trade and investment business program held in conjunction with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, which attracted more than 2,500 attendances and 38 international delegations
  • nominating 600 international business migrants and 1,350 skilled-visa migrants under TIQ’s Business and Skilled Migration program.

TIQ also continued to strengthen Queensland’s international presence by building staff numbers and expanding the scope of its Singapore office to take advantage of growth opportunities in ASEAN markets.

At home, a new North Queensland office was established in Townsville, and a principal trade and investment officer appointed to service the Ipswich region.

The annual report also documents TIQ’s significant progress in implementing 2 major strategies: the Advancing Trade and Investment — Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022 and the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

The Trade and Investment Queensland annual report 2017–2018 is available online, both in web page format and as a PDF [22.4MB].

If you would like a print copy of the annual report, please email kate.gosnell@tiq.qld.gov.au.

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$5,000 grants for small business advice

Queensland small businesses can now apply for grants up to $5,000 to pay for expert business advice under the Small Business Entrepreneur Grants Program.

Queensland small businesses can now apply for grants up to $5,000 to pay for expert business advice under the Small Business Entrepreneur Grants Program.

The program provides funding for businesses to engage a consultant, advisor or business coach for up to 3 months to help establish or develop a business.

To be eligible to apply, a business must have:

  • an ABN
  • fewer than 20 employees
  • Queensland headquarters.

Successful applicants must also be able to:

  • contribute at least half the cost of the project (grants are provided on the basis of matched funding)
  • pay for their project up front (grants are provided as reimbursement).

The advice must fall under 1 or more of the following areas:

  • mentoring/coaching
  • business and strategic planning
  • professional business advice (eg IT, legal or financial)
  • marketing strategy development (eg branding strategies, social media/digital strategies, market research).

Grants are available in the range $1,000–$5,000.

Applications close at 5pm on 13 December and potential applicants should read the grant guidelines before applying.

See the TIQ website for more information on business grants.

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Hong Kong delegations in town for World Hospitals Congress

Two delegations from Hong Kong health institutions attended the 42nd World Hospital Congress in Brisbane last month at TIQ’s invitation.

The World Hospital Congress' Tung Wah Hospital Delegation

Delegates from Hong Kong’s Tung Wah Hospital with TIQ and Mater Hospital staff during a site visit organised by TIQ.

Two delegations from Hong Kong health institutions attended the 42nd World Hospital Congress in Brisbane recently at TIQ’s invitation.

The World Hospital Congress is a global event that brings together health leaders from around the world to network, share experiences, and develop excellence in health care and hospital leadership.

The delegations, from the Hong Kong Hospital Authority and Tung Wah Hospital, were in town to attend the congress and participate in site visits and meetings with local health providers facilitated by

Hong Kong Hospital Authority manages all government hospitals and institutes in Hong Kong, including 43 hospitals and institutions, more than 100 out-patient clinics, and some 28,000 beds.

Authority delegates visiting Brisbane included Dr Tony Ko, Director of Cluster Services, and Dr NT Cheung, Chief Information Officer and Head of Information Technology and Health Information.

Tung Wah Hospital is Hong Kong’s oldest and largest charitable organisation, and offers a range of care, including elderly services, youth and family services, and rehabilitation.

Mr Anders Yuen, General Manager of Nursing, led the Tung Wah delegation.

Site visits for the Hong Kong Health Authority delegation included the Hear and Say Centre in Ashgrove, one of the world’s leading paediatric auditory-verbal and cochlear implant centres, where they learned about services that may complement a new children’s hospital development in Hong Kong.

They also explored digital and e-health initiatives during visits to the Queensland Department of Health and the Princess Alexandra Hospital, which impressed delegates with a fully digital hospital management platform and dashboards.

The Tung Wah delegation was in Brisbane to investigate potential collaboration opportunities, including training, particularly in geriatric care.

Their program included visits to St Vincent’s Care Services and St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Seasons Aged Care, Care College, and Bolton Clarke, who are experts in at-home support.

Rounding out their program were visits to the Hear and Say Centre and to the Mater Young Adult Health Centre, which provides adolescents and young adults with clinical care and tailored support programs.

TIQ extended the invitation to the Hong Kong health providers to visit Brisbane during the Queensland Silver Industry Mission to China and Hong Kong in November 2017.

TIQ staff will continue to work with both the Hong Kong delegates and local businesses to pursue business partnerships.

Health care is identified as one of Queensland’s emerging export strengths in the Advancing Trade and Investment – Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Meet Queensland's export awards winners

A Brisbane technology company changing the face of the global electric vehicle (EV) industry has been named as Queensland’s Exporter of the Year for 2018.

Sixteen Queensland companies have been named the state’s best exporters in the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2018.

The highest honour – Queensland Exporter of the Year – was taken out by tech company Tritium, whose super-fast electric-vehicle chargers are being used around the world.

Started in 2001 by 3 graduates from the University of Queensland, Tritium now supplies its Veefil fast-charger product to 24 countries and holds significant DC fast-charger share in major markets, including 25% in the USA, 20% in the UK and 50% in Norway.

Speaking after accepting the award, Tritium co-founder and CEO Dr David Finn said the company was both a global success and a proud Queenslander.

‘While the Australian EV market continues to expand, global markets, particularly in parts of Europe and in the US, are far advanced and so 98% of our business is exported,’ Mr Finn said.

‘It has been very satisfying to compete so successfully on the global stage and I thank all our team and our supporters in Australia for making this possible.

‘We now have more than 200 staff and counting and are expanding our Veefil-PK operations in Brisbane, as well as having offices in the US and Europe.

‘We continue to design and manufacture all our chargers in Brisbane and we’re proud to call Queensland home.’

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that Queensland exporters such as Tritium made a major contribution to the state’s economy.

‘Tritium specialises in fast-charging solutions for electric vehicles and has seen its revenue grow from $14 million to $34 million in a single year,’ she said.

‘Queenslanders have always excelled on the sporting field – now we are doing the same thing in the global marketplace, creating businesses that provide long-term, secure jobs and industries for the future.’

Tritium also took out the Manufacturing Award.

Other winners included Gold Coast earthmoving equipment manufacturer Digga Australia, which won the Innovation Award; Sunshine Coast publishing software specialist Typefi, which won the Small Business Award; and Brisbane medical technology firm Cook Medical, which won the Health and Biotechnology Award.

The winners were announced at a gala dinner held in Brisbane on 11 October. See the full list of winners below, or read more about each company on the awards website.

Queensland winners in the 13 national award categories will now go on to compete in the Australian Export Awards, to be held in Canberra on 27 November.

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

Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2018 – winners

Queensland categories

  • Premier of Queensland’s Exporter of the Year: Tritium (Brisbane)
  • Dermot McManus Award for Innovation: Digga Australia (Gold Coast)
  • Tom Burns Award for Women in International Business: Hoodlum (Brisbane)
  • Richard Joel Award for the Defence Industry: L3 Micreo (Brisbane)

National categories

  • Agribusiness: Mort & Co (Toowoomba)
  • Business Services: AssetOn Group (Brisbane)
  • Creative Industries: Cutting Edge (Brisbane)
  • Digital Technologies: AKIPS (Brisbane)
  • E-Commerce: Grace Loves Lace (Gold Coast)
  • Education and Training: The University of Queensland (Brisbane)
  • Emerging Exporter: Tooletries (Brisbane)
  • Environmental Solutions: Phibion (Brisbane)
  • Health and Biotechnology: Cook Medical (Brisbane)
  • Manufacturing: Tritium (Brisbane)
  • Minerals and Energy: Core Resources (Brisbane)
  • Regional Exporter: Opmantek (Gold Coast)
  • Small Business: Typefi (Sunshine Coast)
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Robot research could make structures safer worldwide

A Queensland researcher working on a robotic system to detect faults in major structures has received an innovation grant to further develop this technology, with potential applications worldwide.

Dr Adnan Trakic, University of Queensland

Researcher Dr Adnan Trakic.

A Queensland researcher working on a robotic system to detect faults in major structures has received an innovation grant to further develop this technology, with potential applications worldwide.

Dr Adnan Trakic from the University of Queensland has received a $300,000 Industry Research Fellowship from the Queensland Government for his collaborative project with Whitsunday company Artemis Robotics.

Dr Trakic said he would use the funding to develop a robotically assisted inspection technology that could penetrate structures with microwave signals to deliver 50-times more accurate and 300-times faster detection of deep-interior defects in major structures on land and in water.

He said that the technology could be applied to tunnels, buildings, roads, bridges, mining infrastructure and sea facilities.

‘This technology, which combines microwave systems with cutting-edge robotic technology and artificial intelligence algorithms, has great potential, because it will be the first gold standard structural inspection system for both terrestrial and underwater applications,’ Dr Trakic said.

‘Not only will an automated and robotic scanning system deliver better results, it will also be more cost-effective and circumvent the tedious and inaccurate manual inspection.

‘The applications are almost endless, and this technology will be able to be used to detect rust and cracks in concrete in roads, buildings, tunnels, bridges, mining facilities and marine areas, including pylons, ports and vessels.’

Artemis Robotics Director and CEO Darren Foster said Dr Trakic’s research had the potential to revolutionise inspection of major structures.

‘After undertaking the feasibility study with Dr Trakic, it became apparent that this technology has the capability of being a step-change in the testing of non-ferrous materials,’ Mr Foster said.

‘We are looking to deploy the new sensor technology across a range of industries and covering several different materials over the next few years.

‘Dr Trakic has brought a wealth of information and background knowledge to help us build new sensors based on millimetre wave technology, and without this funding we may not have been able to undertake the project at this time.’

The new technology has major export potential.

Artemis Robotics was established by Mr Foster’s company Whitsunday Moorings & Marine Constructions, after Mr Foster and business partner Ken Spruce noticed deficiencies in methods for inspecting marine structures and began developing automated technologies to address this.

TIQ has worked with Artemis to explore opportunities to attract international investment.

Dr Trakic is one of 30 researchers who received a total of $7.2 million in funding in the most recent round of the Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships.

Knowledge industries and advanced manufacturing are identified as emerging export strengths in the Advancing Trade and Investment – Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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