March 2019

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Regional SMEs learn funding secrets

Business owners from around the state turned out to hear from a range of experts at the workshops, which were presented by TIQ in conjunction with the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

Queensland enterprises hoping to attract new funding and investment need to think like a potential investor and prepare a solid business case.

That was the key message at recent Attract funding training workshops run across regional Queensland.

Business owners from around the state turned out to hear from a range of experts at the workshops, which were presented by TIQ in conjunction with the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

In Maroochydore, 31 people attended, hearing presentations on funding options ranging from small-business loans to international investment opportunities and government grants and programs.

In Maryborough, 16 local businesses learned key insights, including BTB Marine owner Chris Hough, who said the workshop had given him a deeper understanding of what investors were looking for.

‘I have a better understanding of what’s involved in securing investment now, and the kind of records and preparation you need to have before approaching a prospective investor,’ he said.

‘The presenters emphasised the importance of thoroughly documenting your finances, your management structure, and your sales and export history, and being able to clearly tell an investor their probable ROI.

‘There are quite a few steps, and it was good to hear how TIQ can help with the process of preparing a business case.’

TIQ regional offices across Queensland can support local businesses in a range of ways, including connecting them with potential overseas investors and helping them prepare for investor meetings.

The recent workshops were part of the ‘Business growth essentials’ series, which is being funded under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

More ‘Attract funding’ workshops will be held in Brisbane on 18 March and Bundaberg on 28 March. Register now if you would like to attend. You can also check out all our workshops, which include sessions on ecommerce, pitching and cultural awareness.

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Tritium signs deal to supply EV chargers to Indian market

Brisbane-based company Tritium has signed a deal to provide electric-vehicle chargers to the massive Indian market.

Brisbane-based company Tritium has signed a deal to provide electric-vehicle chargers to the massive Indian market.

Tritium, Queensland’s Exporter of the Year for 2018, has signed a memorandum of understanding with India’s Tata AutoComp Systems to supply its Veefil-RT 50KW DC fast chargers for distribution across India.

The deal comes not long after the Indian Government announced it would extend its support for electric vehicles through the second phase of its FAME – Faster Adoption and Manufacture of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles – scheme.

Announcing the deal, Tritium CEO David Finn said that the FAME scheme was one of the world’s most progressive EV policy initiatives.

‘The MoU ensures Tata AutoComp remains at the forefront of innovation in India, as the nation adopts the FAME India Scheme,’ he said.

‘The FAME policy is among the most progressive initiatives in the world, and Tata AutoComp’s commitment to rolling out DC fast chargers for vehicles of all sizes is helping to put India ahead of the world in its drive towards a cleaner future.’

Tata AutoComp Systems Managing Director and CEO Aravind Goel said the deal with Tritium was about bringing the latest technology and solutions to Indian customers.

‘With the augment of electric vehicles, the need for chargers capable of powering them is significant and we see a huge opportunity in this market.

‘We are pleased to have Tritium as our partner, which has been offering cutting-edge technology in DC chargers to the global automotive industry.’

Brisbane-headquartered Tritium has offices in Australia, Amsterdam and Los Angeles, and has exported its chargers to 26 countries.

The company won both Queensland Exporter of the Year and the Manufacturing Award at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2018

TIQ has worked closely with Tritium on its expansion into overseas markets.

Advanced manufacturing is identified as an emerging export strength in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Read more about Tritium and other exciting Queensland start-ups on TIQ’s Medium page.

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Sunshine Coast in world’s top 7 ‘intelligent communities’

The Sunshine Coast has been ranked the world’s fifth-most ‘intelligent community’ by the not-for-profit research group, the Intelligent Community Forum.

The Sunshine Coast has been ranked in the world’s top 7 ‘intelligent communities’ by the not-for-profit research group, the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF).

The ICF’s Top 7 Intelligent Communities of 2019 celebrates the cities that are doing the best job of using technology to increase efficiencies, expand opportunities and build sustainable prosperity.

The full list comprised:

  • Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Hudson, Ohio, USA
  • Sarnia-Lambton County, Ontario, Canada
  • Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
  • Taoyuan, Taiwan
  • Westerville, Ohio, USA.

ICF co-founder Louis Zacharilla said 6 of the cities were appearing on the list for the first time, and that even smaller centres far from the world’s technology hubs could now be digital achievers.

‘They may not be as familiar to the world as some of our previous recipients, but in this century, it is becoming obvious that any place can become great once the playing field is levelled,’ Mr Zacharilla said.

‘Thanks to digital technology, the size and location of a community matter far less than ever before.

‘People can stay home and thrive.’

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said making the list was a significant achievement for the local community, and recognised council’s investment in game-changing projects such as the International Broadband Submarine Cable and many other initiatives.

The international broadband project will see an undersea fibre-optic cable extended to the Sunshine Coast, giving the region Australia’s fastest telecommunications connection to Asia from 2020.

The cable will help drive diversification of the Sunshine Coast economy, improve connections between local businesses and Asian markets, and attract new business and investment, particularly from organisations with big-data requirements.

Construction has started and the project is due for completion in 2020.

Enhancing digital capabilities is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022, and the Queensland Government is supporting the undersea cable project with $15 million from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

The Top 7 Intelligent Communities 2019 list was announced in Canada on 11 February. One of the 7 cities in the list will be named the Intelligent Community of the Year at the ICF Summit in June in New York City.

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

 

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International ed grants closing this Friday

International education and training (IET) providers who’d like to help students increase their employment options have until 15 March to apply for grants from Study Queensland’s IET Partnership Fund.

International education and training (IET) providers who’d like to help students increase their employment options have until 15 March to apply for grants from Study Queensland’s IET Partnership Fund.

The partnership fund is an opportunity for Queensland-based education consortia to secure between $5,000 and $150,000 for projects that support Queensland’s IET Strategy.

Projects for this round of funding must be designed to enhance employability for international students.

Employability continues to be a key focus for Study Queensland and a key driver when international students are choosing where to study.

Each consortium must comprise at least 2 education providers, and provide financial support for their project that is equal to the grant received from the fund.

Projects receiving funding in the previous round of the IET Partnership Fund varied greatly in size, focus and location.

If you’re interested in applying in this round, make sure to first read the IET Partnership Fund Guidelines, which provide more details about eligibility and other requirements.

You can also watch the fund video for more ideas and information.

Expressions of interest for the fund close Friday 15 March.

Contact Study Queensland if you need any further information.

The IET Partnership Fund is an initiative under the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

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QODE tech fest coming in April

Want to join other bright minds from around the world at Brisbane’s newest innovation celebration, or showcase your tech to potential investors from around the world? Then you’ll be pleased to know that earlybird tickets and exhibitor applications are now open for the QODE innovation and technology event, coming to Brisbane for the first time this April.

Want to join other bright minds from around the world at Brisbane’s newest innovation celebration, or showcase your tech to potential investors?

Then now’s the time to secure your spot at the QODE innovation and technology event, coming to Brisbane for the first time this April.

Targeting entrepreneurial start-up and investment communities, QODE will feature:

  • seminars and workshops
  • the QODEX tech expo
  • presentations by some of the world’s brightest minds in technology and innovation.

Highlights will include:

Running 2–3 April at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, QODE is expected to attract more than 3,000 visitors from around the world, including tech-industry leaders, government representatives and motivated investors.

It will feature 15 international speakers discussing the future business landscape, and offer space for around 100 start-up and established tech companies to showcase their products.

Described as stimulating, energising, disruptive and provocative, the QODE program will kick off with a launch party on 1 April.

Applications for exhibitor booths are now open, and advance-purchase tickets at reduced rates are on sale.

QODE is part of Brisbane’s larger Curiocity event, which also includes the World Science Festival in March.

Supporting start-ups and encouraging digital innovation are both priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Business Growth grants – apply 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 can 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 have been open since mid-2018 and the assessment panel is expected to meet in the near future.

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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Inquiry delivers findings on SMEs and free trade agreements

Future free trade agreements (FTAs) should do more to address the trade barriers facing Australia’s small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to a recent parliamentary inquiry.

Future free trade agreements (FTAs) should do more to address the trade barriers facing Australia’s small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to a recent parliamentary inquiry.

The federal parliamentary inquiry into access to FTAs by SMEs heard from around 150 businesses and industry groups from across Australia.

The inquiry’s findings have now been released in its report, From little things big things grow: Supporting Australian SMEs go global.

The report makes 10 recommendations to improve trade outcomes for smaller businesses.

Key recommendations include:

  • future FTAs should include specific chapters or obligations regarding SMEs
  • SMEs should have better access to professional advice on how to protect their intellectual property when entering foreign markets
  • the Australian Government should trial regional business clusters that would collaborate to pursue export opportunities
  • access to trade-related services provided by different federal agencies should be made simpler and easier
  • future FTAs should embrace ecommerce, and governments should focus on building the digital and technological capacity of SMEs.

Many of the federal inquiry’s recommendations are consistent with initiatives already being implemented in Queensland as part of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

For example, Strategy initiatives in Queensland are already addressing:

The federal inquiry received more than 40 written submissions and held public hearings across Australia, including in Brisbane and Townsville and on the Sunshine Coast.

See our workshops page for more information on training for SMEs rolling out across regional Queensland this month.

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New report rates state’s space-industry potential

Location and specialisation are the keys to Queensland competing successfully for a share of the world’s lucrative space industry, according to a recently released report.

Location and specialisation are the keys to Queensland competing successfully for a share of the world’s lucrative space industry, according to a recently released report.

Queensland’s greatest competitive advantage is its geographic location, which provides unique opportunities for space systems, launch activities, ground systems and more, according to the Deloitte report Sky is not the limit: Building Queensland’s space economy.

The report also finds that there is real potential for Queensland producers to export existing niche, value-added goods and services to feed into the global space-industry supply chain.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the report recommended capitalising on the state’s existing strengths in research and manufacturing to take advantage of the global space economy.

‘Queensland’s space industry employs more than 2,000 full-time positions and generates $760 million per year through core industry services like satellite communications,’ Mr Dick said.

‘Queensland universities and companies are at the forefront of space research and technology, including NASA’s mission to identify inhabitable planets beyond our solar system, world-leading hypersonic rocket development, the design and manufacture of advanced composite materials, and in new satellite launch and communications technologies.

‘Queensland is already the home to Australia’s vehicle and aviation manufacturing sectors.

‘With our advanced manufacturing supply chain and world-leading research programs, it makes sense for Queensland to also be the home of Australia’s space manufacturing industry.’

The Deloitte report estimates that, under a medium-growth scenario, the space industry could create around 5,000 jobs and contribute $1.3 billion to the Queensland economy over the next two decades.

Announcing the new report, the government said it would use Deloitte’s findings as the economic foundation for a policy position on development of Queensland’s space industry.

Local interest in the global space industry has intensified since last year’s launch of the Australian Space Agency, which has been tasked by the federal government with growing a globally respected Australian space industry.

In addition to the Deloitte report, a Queensland Government parliamentary inquiry has been investigating how Queensland can best take advantage of opportunities flowing from the new space agency. The parliamentary inquiry’s report was also released recently.

The Deloitte report was commissioned by the Queensland Government and released on 24 February 2019.

The aerospace sector is identified as an emerging export priority in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

February 2019

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Million-dollar grant to rev up PWR exports

Gold Coast business PWR Performance Products will purchase high-tech equipment and improve its international competitiveness using a $1.095 million grant from the Made in Queensland program.

Gold Coast business PWR Performance Products will purchase high-tech equipment and improve its international competitiveness using a $1.095 million grant from the 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.

PWR manufactures high-performance cooling systems used in race cars and military vehicles worldwide, and will use the grant to buy an advanced 3D CT scanner.

PWR CEO Kees Weel said the new scanner would help PWR strengthen its position as a premium supplier to industries such as high-end motorsport, aerospace, defence and electronics, and create new jobs in the company.

‘We have employed an additional 100 full-time employees since 2015 and currently have 185 full-time employees at the PWR facility at Ormeau,’ Mr Weel said.

‘With the purchase of the 3D CT scanner, we expect to employ a significant number of additional graduate engineers and programmers to further grow the business.’

PWR is a two-time winner in the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards and was also named Australian Exporter of the Year in 2012.

It is one of 25 businesses across Queensland that will receive a total of $17.62 million under Round 2 of the Made in Queensland program.

The program offers grants between $50,000 and $2.5 million to manufacturers looking to adopt innovative processes and technologies in order 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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Dola Orthotics seals distribution deal at Arab Health

Queensland companies showcased their products at the Arab Health trade show in Dubai in January, including Gold Coast company Dola Orthotics, which left the show with a significant distribution deal.

Queensland companies showcased their products at the Arab Health trade show in Dubai in January, including Gold Coast company Dola Orthotics, which left the show with a significant distribution deal.

Arab Health is the Middle East’s largest healthcare event, attracting exhibitors from 46 countries and thousands of buyers and distributors from around the world.

Nine Gold Coast companies made the journey to Dubai, showcasing everything from beach wheelchairs to nutritional supplements, probiotics and eczema cream.

The group travelled as part of a delegation led by Gold Coast City Council/TradeStart AI Group, and was also supported on the ground by staff from TIQ’s Middle East office.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Middle East Donna Massie said Arab Health had been a great success for Queensland, with one deal signed and more in the pipeline.

‘The Queensland exhibitors were able to meet with a wide range of potential business partners from around the world at meetings organised by Craig Ford from Gold Coast City Council and TIQ Middle East staff,’ she said.

‘One of those companies, Dola Orthotics, negotiated an initial South American distribution deal as a direct result of Arab Health, and other companies have solid leads that we’ll help to follow up in coming months.

‘Representatives from some of the larger Middle East pharmacy chains also visited the Queensland displays, and they were very interested in the Queensland products.

‘The event was a great example of collaboration between TIQ and the council to advance the interests of the participating businesses and the Queensland economy.’

Arab Health ran at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 28–31 January.

Advanced manufacturing, including medical technology, is identified as one of Queensland’s emerging export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Queensland companies participating in Arab Health

David Hackett, Craig Ford and Luke Sinclair

David Hackett from TIQ Middle East, Craig Ford from Trade Start Gold Coast/City of Gold Coast, and Luke Sinclair from Dola Orthotics at Arab Health.