May 2018

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Brisbane’s simPRO builds California presence

Digital industries continue their expansion into export markets with Brisbane-based software group simPRO establishing a Californian team as they look to capitalise on the USA’s booming West Coast solar and security markets.

Brisbane-based software group simPRO has established a team in California as part of a strategic move into the USA’s booming West Coast solar and security markets.

simPRO began in Brisbane in 2002 and over the last 15 years has grown to become one of the world’s leading job management software platforms, with more than 100,000 users worldwide.

The company has now appointed a team of three to focus on the Californian cities of San Diego and Sacramento, supporting its existing US headquarters in Colorado.

Announcing the move, simPRO US President Glenn Nott said the company had received strong interest from businesses in California looking for a job management platform like simPRO’s.

‘California is our fastest growing market in the US, particularly in the solar and security industries,’ he said.

‘The California solar industry has exploded over recent years, creating demand for technicians and field maintenance people.

‘Helping businesses that provide this maintenance and ensuring they can deliver the right people, at the right place and at the right time is what simPRO does best.’

The US solar industry generated $USD154 billion in economic activity in 2016, with about 360,000 people employed in the industry. California makes up nearly half of the entire US industry.

‘We see the solar industry as a major opportunity, not just in the short term, but over the long term as solar energy becomes more common and affordable,’ Mr Nott said.

‘While figures are less readily available, we see the more established security industry as a large opportunity and one that has potential to achieve high growth for simPRO.’

Mr Nott said the high levels of technological sophistication of local California businesses was also an important part of the decision to target the state with additional resources.

simPRO provides office and field-based software solutions for service, project and maintenance trade contractors from a wide range of industries.

The company’s software streamlines business processes such as project management, asset maintenance, stock management, scheduling, invoicing and payment processing.

In 2016, simPRO raised AUD$40 million in capital and has made strong inroads into the US market since ramping up expansion 12 months ago.

TIQ Europe has previously worked with simPRO to support their expansion into the UK market.

Digital industries are identified as one of Queensland’s emerging export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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May events highlight state’s export diversity

Two high-profile trade events being held this month highlight Queensland’s export diversity, with both the international beef industry and some of Silicon Valley’s best-known entrepreneurs visiting the state.

Two high-profile trade events being held this month highlight Queensland’s export diversity, with both the international beef industry and some of Silicon Valley’s best-known entrepreneurs visiting the state.

Beef Australia is in the central Queensland city of Rockhampton from 6–12 May, while the Myriad tech and innovation festival will come to Brisbane from 16–18 May.

Beef Australia celebrates all facets of the Australian beef industry, bringing together members of the local industry and international buyers to facilitate new trade and export opportunities.

TIQ senior economist Simon Fischer said beef cattle were a traditional export strength for Queensland.

‘Beef is one of Queensland’s major exports overall, and also one of our most valuable agricultural exports,’ he said.

‘In the past 12 months, the value of all beef exports from Queensland (including fresh, chilled and frozen beef) was $4.3 billion, up $137 million on the same period last year.

‘Queensland is Australia’s largest beef exporter by quite a significant margin … Queensland beef exports represented 57% of all Australian beef exports by value.’

Mr Fischer said the state was also continuing to develop its exports of high-tech products, including through events such as Myriad 2018.

Myriad will bring together start-ups, investors and innovators from around the world, with more than 360 US entrepreneurs flying from Silicon Valley to Brisbane on a specially chartered Myriad Air flight.

Mr Fischer said the tech sector was a key element of the modern global economy.

‘Tech goods and services are part of a larger group known as “knowledge-intensive” industries,’ he said.

‘Goods and services in this sector have been among the most dynamic components of international trade over the last decade.

‘Queensland is embracing this change and performing well.

‘Queensland exports of knowledge-intensive goods rose $437 million, or 17.7%, in the year ending February 2018.’

Mr Fischer said diversity was a positive for the Queensland economy, with no one sector making up more than 12% of total economic output.

‘I think a diverse economy is a healthy economy — which is why it’s great to see Queensland exports performing well in traditional strengths, like beef cattle, and also in the emerging tech sector.’

The Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022 matches Queensland’s economic strengths with global trends, highlighting both traditional and emerging export markets.

Read the full interview with Simon Fischer in Simon Says: The evolution of Queensland’s export economy on TIQ’s Medium page.

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ARC research hub pushes med-tech manufacture

A national research hub that promotes advances in high-tech medical devices has been officially launched in Brisbane.

A national research hub that promotes advances in high-tech medical devices has been officially launched in Brisbane.

Based at The University of Queensland, the Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Hub for the Advanced Manufacturing of Medical Devices is developing advanced materials and processes to drive new technologies in medical devices.

The multi-million dollar hub brings together university researchers and industry partners from around Australia, including Brisbane-based Cook Medical Australia.

Speaking at the launch at Cook Medical’s Eight Mile Plains’ facility, ARC CEO Professor Sue Thomas said the hub research would deliver both patient and industry benefits for Australians.

‘This research hub’s industry-focused research collaboration will develop new, advanced materials and processes that will not only lead to tangible health outcomes for Australians, but also drive new technologies and skills that are vital for the competitiveness of Australia’s medical devices industry,’ Professor Thomas said.

Cook Medical Australia General Manager Dr Samih Nabulsi said the hub would contribute to greater export opportunities for Australian-based medical devices companies.

‘Our primary goal with this partnership is to improve patient health outcomes while identifying process efficiencies and advances in the materials and technologies involved with manufacturing medical devices,’ Dr Nabulsi said.

‘The AMMD research hub will result in increased growth opportunities for the sector, which, in turn, translates into more jobs and increased global market share for Australian-manufactured medical technologies.’

The AMMD research hub brings together researchers from The University of Queensland, the University of the Sunshine Coast, and RMIT with industry partners including Cook Medical Australia, Robert Bosch (Australia), Heat Treatment (Qld) and QMI Solutions.

The Australian Government and other partners are investing significant resources in the hub, with cash and in-kind funding from all contributors totalling more than $10 million.

The research hub is based at the University of Queensland and was officially launched at Cook Medical on 27 April.

Cook Medical is a multinational company that chose to establish its Asia-Pacific operations in Brisbane.

The company recently had to expand its Brisbane workforce to cope with increased export demand for its high-tech stent devices.

Cook Medical’s Queensland success story was also profiled recently during Trade 2018 presentations held in conjunction with the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

The biomedical and life sciences sector is identified as an emerging export strength in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Support for SMEs to enter Japanese market

SMEs in Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton are being invited to learn all about export opportunities flowing from Australia’s trade deal with Japan.

SMEs in Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton are being invited to learn all about export opportunities flowing from Australia’s trade deal with Japan.

CCIQ and Austrade will present free seminars in Queensland from 8–24 May, giving local SMEs a run-down on Australia’s trade arrangements with Japan and the advantages they give businesses who are exporting, or thinking about exporting, to the lucrative Japanese market.

Japan is currently Queensland’s second-largest export market, behind only China.

Launched in 2015, the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) provides improved trade arrangements for a range of industries.

Industries benefiting from the deal include beef, dairy, seafood and wine, services such as education, finance, legal and telecommunications, and resources such as energy and manufacturing.

The free seminars will provide specific training on how to access JAEPA, along with an overview of various sector opportunities in the Japanese market.

Speakers will include finance and business experts with particular experience and expertise in the Japanese market.

Take-home materials will be provided.

‘Take advantage of Australia’s trade deal with Japan’ will run in Cairns on 8 May, Townsville on 9 May, and Rockhampton on 24 May.

Boosting exports is a priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Trade 2018 delivers crowds, business opps

The Trade 2018 program run in conjunction with the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games attracted more than 2,500 participants and generated multiple business opportunities, according to figures announced this week.

Commonwealth House at Broadbeach was the Gold Coast hub for Trade 2018 events.

Commonwealth House at Broadbeach was the Gold Coast hub for Trade 2018 events.

The Trade 2018 program run in conjunction with the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games attracted more than 2,500 participants and generated multiple business opportunities, according to figures announced this week.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that the program was designed to forge new business partnerships across the Commonwealth, and had succeeded in attracting a wide range of delegates.

‘We were able to attract 38 international delegations spanning 26 countries to the events and activities during the Commonwealth Games as a result of a year-long international engagement campaign,’ she said.

‘We had delegates join us from countries including England, India, Canada, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Singapore, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.’

Ms Palaszczuk said that Trade 2018 participants were already reporting business benefits from participating in the program.

‘Early feedback from a survey of participants indicates more than 80% of attendees identified business opportunities through participation in the Trade 2018 program, while more than 85% said they had made new contacts or strengthened existing networks,’ she said.

‘Impressively, nearly 80% said they had improved capability to expand their business, which is a fantastic result for all involved.’

Ms Palaszczuk said that the Commonwealth Games were expected to generate additional exports and foreign direct investment of around $488 million in the next four years post-GC2018, including deals resulting from Trade 2018.

The Trade 2018 program featured 32 networking and showcase events at the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns.

TIQ helped to organise the Health and Knowledge Program (including an aged-care component) and the Food and Agriculture Program.

Events were designed to showcase Queensland products, companies and expertise to overseas buyers and investors.

Boosting exports and investment are key goals of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Selected Trade 2018 presentations and a directory of participating health and knowledge companies are now available on the TIQ website.

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Queensland regionals join smart cities network

Townsville, Toowoomba and Charters Towers have all signed up for a global smart cities network after local council members attended an international smart cities summit in Taiwan recently.

Patrick Hafenstein at Smart Cities ExpoTownsville, Toowoomba and Charters Towers have all signed up for a global smart cities network after local council members attended an international smart cities summit in Taiwan recently.

Councillors from the three regions were part of a Queensland delegation that travelled to the Taipei Smart City Summit & Expo in Taiwan in late March.

They joined representatives from Ipswich City Council, two chambers of commerce and two other business delegates at the gathering, which brought together local governments and service providers from around the world to discuss smarter solutions to urban challenges.

The Queensland delegation participated in a busy program organised by TIQ Taiwan, which included opportunities to connect with potential investors.

Acting Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Taiwan Patrick Hafenstein said that the summit was a unique opportunity for the Queensland delegates to learn about cutting-edge smart cities initiatives and share their own projects with potential investors.

‘They were able to participate in roundtables with mayors from around the world, meet with all levels of Taiwanese government, and tour smart-cities solutions in action,’ he said.

‘These included smart health care at the National Taiwan University Hospital, and smart building initiatives at Nanshan Plaza, which is one of Taipei’s greenest buildings.

‘We also set up meetings with major banks and renewables and technology investors, where our delegates talked them through local business opportunities right across Queensland.’

Mr Hafenstein said that the mission was the first joint project between TIQ and the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) since the signing of a recent MOU committing them to closer collaboration on regional trade and investment initiatives.

‘We worked closely with LGAQ to recruit council members to attend the summit, and the diversity of our delegation proved to be a real drawcard for potential investors when we started setting up meetings,’ he said.

‘I’m particularly pleased that three Queensland councils joined more than 100 other local governments from around the world in signing the joint statement on the Global Organisation of Smart Cities (GO SMART).

‘GO SMART is a new network to encourage cities worldwide to share ideas and collaborate on smart cities solutions, and I believe it will deliver real value to Queensland communities in the future.’

Mr Hafenstein said that the feedback on the Taiwanese visit from the Queensland delegates had been extremely positive.

The signing of the MOU between the Queensland Government and the LGAQ was an initiative under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

April 2018

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Queensland Innovation Hub opens in Dubai

A new innovation hub has opened in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to help Queensland companies establish operations in the massive Dubai South development.

Dubai South Executive Chairman His Excellency Khalifa Al Zaffin, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Middle East Donna Massie, and advisor Geoffrey Schuhkraft at the hub opening.

Dubai South Executive Chairman His Excellency Khalifa Al Zaffin, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Middle East Donna Massie, and advisor Geoffrey Schuhkraft at the hub opening.

A new innovation hub has opened in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to help Queensland companies establish operations in the massive Dubai South development.

The 145km2 Dubai South community is currently being built and is ultimately expected to be home to 1 million people who will require a wide range of urban services.

A number of Queensland companies have already established commercial agreements with Dubai South, or are finalising agreements that will see them established in the new innovation hub while developing their professional relationships with the project.

Many are supporting the development’s sustainability goals.

For example, Gold Coast business Greywater Solutions has undertaken a successful pilot project with Dubai South, and Brisbane-based Azzurra has conducted a successful water conservation and sustainability pilot and is currently finalising negotiations to provide products and services to Dubai South and the broader region. Brisbane’s Redback Technologies will trial solar solutions later this year.

The new Queensland Innovation Hub will allow even more Queensland companies to establish a presence in the region and access local business opportunities.

Speaking before the opening of the hub, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said Queensland companies had a real role to play in realising the UAE government’s vision for Dubai South.

‘There are a number of outstanding Queensland businesses helping support the ambitious vision to make the Dubai South development a smart and sustainable city,’ Ms Trad said.

‘Providing companies with an office space at the Queensland Innovation Hub means they can establish a presence in-market quickly and economically and access business opportunities across the Middle East.’

Further commercial agreements with Dubai South were signed during Ms Trad’s trade mission to the Middle East.

Gold Coast based Transit Australia Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Roads and Transport Authority Dubai to provide transit services and products, including electric buses.

And Queensland’s QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute signed an MOU with the Dubai Health Authority to test and develop medical research and technologies.

TIQ’s Middle East office has worked closely with a number of Queensland companies already contracted to or in negotiations with Dubai South.

In total, TIQ has facilitated Queensland companies committing 3.8 million AED (UAE dirhams) to Dubai South in the past 12 months.

The Queensland Innovation Hub opened on 22 April 2018.

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

Dubai South will also be the site for World Expo 2020, with major opportunities for Queensland suppliers.

The Dubai procurement team for World Expo 2020 will be in Brisbane on 1 May speaking at a free Austrade Dubai 2020 seminar.

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Singapore agreement for FNQ food exporters

Singapore food distributor IM Holdings has signed an agreement that aims to improve access to ASEAN countries for food and beverage businesses in Far North Queensland.

Clinton Fang Yuen, TIQ's Geoff Goh, and IM Holdings' CEO Eddie Siow after the signing of the MOU.

Clinton Fang Yuen, TIQ’s Geoff Goh, and IM Holdings’ CEO Eddie Siow after the signing of the MOU.

Singapore food distributor IM Holdings has signed an agreement that aims to improve access to ASEAN countries for food and beverage businesses in Far North Queensland.

The memorandum of understanding was signed on 24 April in Singapore by IM Holdings’ CEO Eddie Siow and Clinton Fang Yuen, founder of the FNQ Food Incubator and owner of Cairns-based Fang’s Chilli Sauce.

The signing took place at the Taste of Queensland booth at the Food and Hotel Asia trade show.

The FNQ Food Incubator is a collective of FNQ food and drink manufacturers, marketers, business leaders and entrepreneurs, dedicated to helping local food SMEs succeed at home and overseas.

The new agreement aims to provide these Cairns-based food businesses with easier access into ASEAN countries using IM Holdings’ logistics and distribution networks.

Mr Siow said the agreement was part of the company’s ongoing strategy to facilitate SME food and agribusiness exports from Australia, with support from Enterprise Singapore.

‘This is part of our ongoing strategy to support the efforts of Australia’s food and agribusiness SMEs seeking to venture into the ASEAN export market, where the demand for fresh, high-quality products continues to demonstrate solid growth,’ he said.

‘The partnership is yet another step in our overall vision to establish an export-oriented platform for Australia’s SMEs, including those from Cairns, which enjoys close geographical proximity to Asia, with efficient access into one of the world’s fastest growing regions.’

Mr Fang Yuen said that the agreement was the latest initiative from the FNQ Food Incubator, which also gives local SMEs access to the cutting-edge processing and bottling plant used to manufacture his company’s chilli sauce.

‘The aim of establishing the FNQ Incubator was to focus on helping early-stage food processors commercialise and scale the development of their food products,’ he said.

‘As well as access to the manufacturing facility, the FNQ Incubator proposes to offer a range of structured training programs designed to help entrepreneurs develop a full range of business skills to optimise their products and business practices.’

Mr Siow said that IM Holdings and Enterprise Singapore could connect FNQ food manufacturers with growing Asian markets.

‘There is a huge potential for companies in Cairns looking to export their products into the South East Asia region and beyond,’ he said.

‘However, these companies often lack the necessary capabilities and networks to do so.

‘IM Holdings strives to offer a total solution to enable such businesses and their products to gain market access in the most cost-effective and efficient way.

‘Enterprise Singapore’s extensive network and overseas market expertise has greatly expanded our reach and allowed us to forge deeper partnerships with like-minded business owners.’

TIQ helped to organise a recent visit to Cairns by IM Holdings to meet with members of the FNQ Food Incubator and begin discussions around a distribution deal.

Fang’s is one of 23 Queensland businesses currently participating in TIQ’s Food and Hotel Asia mission.

Food and Hotel Asia is the latest international showcase event organised under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Read more about the Fang’s Chilli Sauce story in this entertaining interview with Clinton Fang Yuen.

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Food and Hotel Asia gets Taste of Queensland

More than 20 Queensland food and beverage companies are in Singapore this week for Asia’s largest food and hospitality trade fair, showcasing their wares and meeting with potential buyers from across the region.

FHA 2018 in SingaporeMore than 20 Queensland food and beverage companies are in Singapore this week for Asia’s largest food and hospitality trade fair, showcasing their wares and meeting with potential buyers from across the region.

40 delegates representing 23 Queensland organisations have joined TIQ’s trade mission to Food and Hotel Asia in Singapore.

15 of those businesses are putting their products on show at TIQ’s Taste of Queensland booth, with most exhibitors hailing from regional Queensland.

Products on show range from coconut yoghurt and vege chips to more traditional produce such as seafood, game birds and smallgoods.

As well as showcasing Queensland’s best produce, companies attending will participate in more than 55 business-matching meetings with potential buyers from Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Hong Kong.

They will also receive market briefings and have the opportunity to visit high-end retail outlets and logistic centres to help forge new deals and opportunities.

Previous similar missions have delivered multiple export deals for Queensland businesses.

For example, of the 22 Queensland food and beverage companies that joined the HOFEX food show mission to Hong Kong in 2017, 14 companies have already received export orders.

Food and Hotel Asia will run over 4 days from 24 to 27 April, with TIQ staff from Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Korea, India, and Queensland supporting delegates throughout.

Food and Hotel Asia is the third international showcase event organised under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Delegates participating are:

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Google Ventures founder joins Myriad Air

The founder and first CEO of Google Ventures will fly into Brisbane next month for the Myriad tech festival, joining a host of other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors on board the festival’s own Myriad Air flight.

The founder and first CEO of Google Ventures will fly into Brisbane next month for the Myriad tech festival, joining a host of other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors on board the festival’s own Myriad Air flight.

High-profile venture capitalist Bill Maris founded Google Venture in 2009, managing a $2.5 billion fund that invested in more than 400 companies.

Maris now heads Section 32, a Californian start-up that funds technology, biotechnology, health care, and life sciences start-ups.

He will head to Brisbane on board Myriad Air, an initiative from Qantas and the Queensland Government to bring more than 360 of tech’s brightest minds direct from Silicon Valley to Fortitude Valley where the festival will take place.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said that Myriad’s networking and discussions would begin well before the plane touched down.

‘Myriad Air promises to be one of the biggest mid-air networking events ever staged, with an exciting in-flight program of cutting edge conversation, pitching and collaboration,’ she said.

‘Having someone of Bill Maris’s calibre on board Myriad Air will inspire some of our greatest thinkers to continue to move forward in the health sector.’

Ms Jones said Mr Maris would headline the Myriad Festival’s discussions about the future of health.

Myriad CEO Martin Talvari said securing Mr Maris was a major coup for the festival, and the connections forged on Myriad Air would flow through to the festival itself.

‘Myriad’s measurement for success is all about the genuine connections that are made,’ he said.

‘These connections will begin on board Myriad Air … and continue through to the main event here in Brisbane.’

Mr Talvari said it was also possible to purchase tickets to travel on Myriad Air, and urged interested US start-ups and entrepreneurs to secure a ticket before they sell out.

Myriad is Australia’s leading tech innovation festival, bringing together start-ups, investors, tech-lovers and innovators from around Australia and the world.

Last year’s event attracted more than 3,000 visitors and 164 exhibitors.

Myriad Air will depart San Francisco International Airport on 12 May and arrive in Brisbane on 14 May.

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