October 2019

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Japan looks to Queensland as drone testbed

Queensland’s wide open skies may create a new outback industry, after a Japanese delegation visited Queensland to learn more about the state’s potential as a drone testing site and to attend the World of Drones Congress (WoDC).

Queensland’s wide open skies may create a new outback industry, after a Japanese delegation visited Queensland to learn more about the state’s potential as a drone testing site and to attend the World of Drones Congress (WoDC).

The delegation of 6 representatives from high-tech companies was invited by TIQ Japan and accompanied by TIQ staff throughout their visit.

The delegation travelled first to the Outback Aerodrone Symposium in Barcaldine from 21 to 23 September.

The annual symposium offers drone demonstrations and presentations, and promotes the skies of western Queensland as an ideal drone-testing environment.

The delegation then moved on to Brisbane to join more than 750 other drone experts and enthusiasts from around the world at the World of Drones Congress from 26 to 27 September.

Now in its third year, the congress explored the latest in drone technology, applications and regulations.

Director of Investment for TIQ Japan Melissa Inooka said the trip showcased Queensland as an ideal testbed for Japan’s drone industry.

‘For example, Sky Perfect JSAT – Asia’s largest satellite company – was impressed with the vast amount of space in our regions,’ Ms Inooka said.

‘It was also impressed with the support and facilitation provided by both TIQ and the Barcaldine Regional Council.

‘We will continue to promote Queensland as the ideal testbed for Japan’s drone industry.’

TIQ Japan organised the delegates’ program and meetings with key local contacts, including:

  • the Civil Aviation Safety Authority
  • the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
  • Logan City Council, which is currently hosting a drone delivery trial.

Queensland is one of the first places in the world to have autonomous drone deliveries, and is also the headquarters for the Cooperative Research Centre for Trusted Autonomous Systems.

Sky Perfect JSAT presented at the Outback Aerodrone Symposium on developments in agriculture-related drone activity.

During its presentation, JSAT said the company was interested in working with Queensland partners to undertake testing and demonstrations in Queensland.

JSAT also attended the World of Drones Congress, as did the delegation from the Japan UAS Industrial Development Association (JUIDA), with JUIDA Executive Director Kakuya Iwata giving a presentation on drone safety.

JUIDA is recognised as a leading industry body in international collaboration for the drone sector.

Also recognised at the congress for international collaboration work on drones was Ms Inooka, who received the International Collaboration – Individual award.

The Outback Aerodrone Symposium is presented by the CWQ Remote Area Planning and Development Board in partnership with the Barcaldine Regional Council.

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

Japanese organisations represented in the drone delegation:

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From home-built joystick to export award success

A Gold Coast innovator has turned his home-built helicopter simulator into an award-winning international business.

A Gold Coast innovator has turned his home-built helicopter simulator into an award-winning international business.

Chris Ryan from Southport business Ryan Aerospace recently accepted the Small Business Award at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2019 – but the origins of his business were far humbler.

In 2001, Mr Ryan, already the holder of a fixed-wing pilot’s licence, wanted to add helicopter flying to his repertoire.

But as a council employee he couldn’t afford multiple $500 lessons in a real helicopter.

Unable to find an affordable helicopter simulator, he decided to build his own – despite having no technical qualifications.

Attaching a Commodore 64 computer to some PVC tubing and a chair with his self-confessed ‘dodgy welding’, he then plugged in a gaming stick that he’d rewired, and began teaching himself how to fly a helicopter.

By the time he went for his second lesson, Mr Ryan could take off, hover, strafe (fly sideways) and land.

The instructor was so impressed he said Mr Ryan should make a commercial version of his simulator and sell it.

Five years (and many revisions) later, he did – selling his first order to the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF).

Mr Ryan said he didn’t believe it was happening when he got the call from the RAF.

‘I thought it was my brother making a crank call,’ he said.

Mr Ryan continued working on his product, updating his computer-aided design skills and improving his product using an Advance Queensland grant from the Queensland Government.

In 2009 he began showing his simulator at trade shows with the help of Austrade, including one in the USA.

A decade later, he finally received an order from the US Army for 31 simulators, on top of other orders from all over the world.

These export achievements earned him the Small Business Award at this year’s Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards.

Mr Ryan’s advice to other Queensland exporters is to stick with it for the long haul.

‘Persistence is key,’ Mr Ryan said.

‘One significant, high-profile military customer took more than 10 years to convert to an order.

‘You just have to keep on keeping on.’

Ryan Aerospace was 1 of 4 Gold Coast businesses that won their categories at the export awards, with the Coast the strongest regional performer this year.

The four Gold Coast award winners were:

Fostering export growth is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Read the full list of 16 export award winners.

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Queensland scientist wins at India-Australia awards

Professor Neena Mitter, an agricultural biotechnologist based at The University of Queensland, has won a major award at the 2019 India Australia Business & Community Awards (IABCA).

Professor Neena Mitter, an agricultural biotechnologist based at The University of Queensland, has won a major award at the 2019 India Australia Business & Community Awards (IABCA).

Professor Mitter, Director of the Centre for Horticultural Studies, was named winner of the Australia India Science, Research & Development category at the awards ceremony on Friday 11 October.

Her work includes an avocado research project that has the potential to revolutionise the industry worldwide.

Professor Mitter has worked in molecular biology and biotechnology in Australia for more than 20 years, and now works as part of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, based at the university.

She was part of a research team that developed ‘BioClay’, a clay that can be sprayed on crops to protect them from pests and diseases.

She also led a project team that developed a tissue-culture system that can supply 500 times more avocado plants than traditional propagation methods.

The system could double Queensland’s avocado production and dramatically reduce the time it takes for new avocado varieties to reach commercial orchards, potentially boosting avocado exports and addressing a global avocado shortage.

The India-Australia awards celebrate the relationship between the two countries and honour migrant entrepreneurship and community leadership.

TIQ led the Queensland Government’s sponsorship of the awards.

Around 49,000 Queensland residents were born in India, and India is also one of Queensland’s main trading partners.

The Queensland Government’s Queensland-India Trade and Investment Strategy 2018–2023 aims to strengthen the relationship between Queensland and India in order to generate jobs and foster economic growth.

All 15 IABCA winners were announced in front of around 400 guests at a Gala at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane on 11 October. Guests attending the Gala included TIQ CEO Paul Martyn and Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for India Gitesh Agarwal.

If you’re interested in exporting to India, connect with TIQ for advice and support.

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Grove Juice joins Korea’s Market Kurly

Signature orange juice manufactured in Queensland by Grove Juice is now available on Korea’s Market Kurly ecommerce platform.

Korean consumers can now get Queensland-made orange juice delivered to their door, with Signature orange juice from Queensland manufacturer Grove Juice now available on the Market Kurly ecommerce platform.

Market Kurly has pioneered overnight delivery in Korea, along with the ‘full cold-chain’ system – a temperature-controlled supply chain for fresh-food delivery.

As a result, orders of Signature orange juice made online before 11pm are delivered by 7am the following morning.

TIQ staff in Korea and Brisbane brought Grove Juice together with Market Kurly and its import and supply-chain partners in Brisbane earlier this year.

TIQ arranged a taste testing for the visitors, and provided the information the importers needed.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Korea Daniel Kim said Korea’s ecommerce market was a significant one for Grove Juice.

‘Ecommerce is Korea’s largest retail channel,’ Mr Kim said.

‘Nine out of ten Korean adults use the internet, and purchases from mobile platforms make up more than 60% of Korea’s total market value.

‘So having its orange juice available on Market Kurly is a major export deal for Grove Juice.’

Grove Juice is one of the largest Australian family-owned fresh fruit processors in the juice category.

The company processes fresh fruit from Queensland and New South Wales at its facility in Warwick in south-west Queensland.

Signature orange juice launched on Market Kurly in September, and its first consignment has already sold out.

A second consignment is now on its way.

Ecommerce is identified as a growing export trend in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022, and TIQ has helped a number of Queensland businesses to secure ecommerce opportunities.

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Queensland companies get pitch-perfect for Tokyo event

TIQ is helping 6 Queensland companies prepare first-rate pitches for the Innovation Leaders Summit (ILS) in Tokyo later this month.

TIQ is helping 6 Queensland companies prepare first-rate pitches for the Innovation Leaders Summit (ILS) in Tokyo later this month.

During the summit, Queensland companies will join groups from around the world to pitch to potential Japanese investors and undertake ‘power matching’ with major Japanese companies.

To help the Queenslanders polish their pitches, TIQ Brisbane recently arranged a practice event with members of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Brisbane (JCCIB).

Senior Trade and Investment Officer Young-Mi Kim said it was a great opportunity for them to connect with chamber members and local Japanese companies.

‘The Tokyo summit presents a major opportunity for these companies to find Japanese investors,’ Ms Kim said.

‘There are cultural differences in pitching to the Japanese businesses.

‘So we set up the event to give these companies the chance to practice and perfect their pitches in front of a Japanese audience.’

The pitch to the JCCIB has already drawn interest from chamber members, and given the Queensland companies an opportunity to engage further with some of the Japanese companies who attended.

TIQ also collaborated with corporate partner Grant Thornton to provide training on Japanese business culture, including presenting to a Japanese audience.

As well as pitching, the Queensland companies attending the summit will participate in an invitation-only power-matching program, which will bring together companies recommended by the ILS Advisory Board and major corporations for one-on-one meetings.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Japan Tak Adachi is a member of the ILS Advisory Board.

His membership of the group provided an opportunity to showcase the Queensland companies’ capabilities to other board members and recommend their participation in the power-matching program.

According to ILS, more than 500 start-ups and 100 companies took part in power matching last year, resulting in 2,272 business talks and 866 collaborative projects.

ILS was established in 2014 to create global innovation by matching assets, start-up ideas and technologies from major companies.

This year’s event will be held from 28 to 30 October at Toranomon Hills in Tokyo.

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

Companies attending ILS with TIQ support:

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Opportunities for your circular-economy solution

Queensland start-ups and SMEs working on innovative circular economy solutions could win the chance to pitch for funding under the Queensland Government’s SparkPlug program.

Queensland start-ups and SMEs working on innovative circular-economy solutions could win the chance to pitch solutions to a target audience of decision makers from government agencies under the Queensland Government’s SparkPlug program.

Expressions of interest for the program close next Friday 25 October, and are invited from Queensland businesses, including exporters.

SparkPlug aims to connect innovators with the right Queensland Government contacts, potentially opening doors to project opportunities, trials or even adoption.

As a first step, applicants need to identify a problem and then explain how their solution will deliver improved outcomes.

Successful applicants are then given information on how to pitch to government before attending a SparkPlug pitching event.

A circular economy maximises a product’s value at each point of its life by closing industrial loops and turning outputs from one manufacturer into inputs for another.

This reduces both the amount of virgin materials consumed during production and the amount of waste generated.

Strategies based on the circular economy are attracting more attention as disposal of waste becomes increasingly challenging worldwide.

SparkPlug is an Advance Queensland program that calls for solutions to government challenges in different service or technology areas.

This is the second round of the SparkPlug program, with the first round focusing on drone technology.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • employ fewer than 200 people, including contractors
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have their main place of business in Queensland.

Additionally, the solution proposed for the pitch event should:

  • be fully developed and validated with at least 1 customer
  • consider the regulatory requirements needed for the Queensland Government to implement the solution
  • create new value in one of the following sectors: advanced manufacturing and re-manufacturing, agriculture and food, biofutures, biomedical, energy, infrastructure and building, or tourism.

Applications close at 2pm on 25 October, and successful applicants will be notified in late October.

The pitching event will be held on 15 November.

You can find out more on the SparkPlug webpage.

Supporting start-ups is a priority in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.


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Queensland researcher heads to Falling Walls Berlin

A Queensland researcher who wants to stop broken glass ending up in landfill will head to the prestigious Falling Walls Berlin Conference next month with the support of TIQ’s Study Queensland.

A Queensland researcher who wants to stop broken glass ending up in landfill will head to the prestigious Falling Walls Berlin Conference next month with the support of TIQ’s Study Queensland.

Falling Walls is a German-based foundation that was formed in 2009 on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Falling Walls’ events give academics, entrepreneurs and other professionals an opportunity to present their research, business model, innovative project or social initiative to a distinguished audience from academia and business.

University of Queensland PhD candidate Rhys Pirie will present at Falling Walls Berlin on 8 November, showcasing how broken glass too small to be sorted into the right colour and remade into glass can be recycled for other uses.

Mr Pirie has worked with Professor Damien Batstone to develop a chemical recycling process that repurposes these small shards into thousands of consumer products as diverse as tyres and toothpaste.

With the support of Study Queensland, he was one of 4 Queensland researchers who competed at the Australian Falling Walls finals in Canberra recently, winning third place on the national stage.

Study Queensland organised local experts who specialise in social-justice initiatives to coach and sharpen the pitches of all 4 Queensland finalists.

Study Queensland Executive Director Shannon Willoughby said Falling Walls Australia had been a tremendous platform for the state’s leading minds in science and innovation.

‘Queensland had 4 researchers at the national finals, presenting on everything from detecting superbugs to treating depression,’ Ms Willoughby said.

‘All of our entrants were of a high calibre and we are thrilled to have a Queenslander in the international finals this year.

‘Their efforts will help not only Queensland and Australia, but also the world.

‘Queensland fosters a strong spirit of research and innovation, and Rhys’ success is testament to that.’

Inspired by the many legacies that arose from the demise of the Berlin Wall, Falling Walls invites academics, entrepreneurs and other professionals to answer the question: Which walls will fall next?

Innovation is identified as a key factor in export success in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Medical start-ups accelerate into US market

Five Queensland start-ups specialising in medical technology and therapeutics have touched down in San Francisco to start training with the prestigious California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI).

Five Queensland start-ups specialising in medical technology and therapeutics have touched down in San Francisco to start training with the prestigious California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI).

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated De Motu Cordis, Ellume Health, Field Orthopaedics, Microba and Zucero Therapeutics for being awarded a fully funded place in a new start-up accelerator program coordinated by TIQ and Life Sciences Queensland (LSQ).

‘These five companies will receive coaching in market analysis, legal requirements, pitching to investors and finance, and gain access to their own in-market mentor network, accelerating their successful entry into the North American market,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.

‘The San Francisco Bay Area is the most mature and experienced life-science cluster in the world and offers extraordinary commercialisation expertise and access to capital.

‘I’m confident it will prove fertile ground for these Queensland innovators to progress their export and investment plans with North American partners.’

Program participant Ellume Health develops digitally connected diagnostics that use smart phones to help analyse tests for common diseases and connect patients to treatment.

Ellume Managing Director Sean Parsons said the company would use the CLSI program to help progress commercialisation of its Ellume.lab line of products in North America.

‘Our Ellume.lab product line can be used by clinicians to test for flu, group A strep and respiratory syncytial virus,’ Mr Parsons said.

‘For us, the CLSI program is all about developing a network and building a commercialisation capability in the USA to accelerate Ellume.lab’s entry into this market.

‘It’s a great opportunity for us and I believe it’s a very worthwhile endeavour for the state government to support companies in this way.’

CLSI’s Executive Director of Innovation Services, Steve Karp, said the program would build participants’ skills and knowledge and create new global connections.

‘Our FAST program provides entrepreneurs with coaching to perfect their business model and product-development plans and build a compelling commercialisation strategy,’ he said.

‘This partnership with TIQ and LSQ will be instrumental in facilitating new investment and collaboration opportunities between California’s world-leading life-sciences sector and the vibrant Queensland cluster.’

The five companies will be in San Francisco from 14 to 18 October and again in January 2020. They will also attend the BIO International Convention in San Diego in June 2020.

Each company will cover its own accommodation and travel costs.

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

Participating companies are:


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Defence Supply Chain Hub for Townsville

A $5 million Defence Supply Chain Hub will be established in an innovative new industry precinct in the Townsville CBD.

A $5 million Defence Supply Chain Hub will be established in an innovative new industry precinct in the Townsville CBD.

The hub will be located in the Smart Precinct North Queensland in Palmer Street, and will operate as a one-stop shop for advice and expertise on regional supply chain logistics as well as maintenance.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said a defence hub in the new precinct would help North Queensland businesses tap into overseas and national defence projects.

‘The defence industries sector is growing quickly and establishing a national and international reputation for excellence, so the hub is going to tap into that rapid growth,’ she said.

‘We are pleased to partner with the Palaszczuk Government to deliver this hub which will act as a catalyst for more jobs in advanced manufacturing.’

The new precinct is a collaborative project that already includes Townsville City Council, Burdekin Shire Council, Hinchinbrook Shire Council, James Cook University, CQUniversity, DevNQ and Coder Dojo.

Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said 2 staff had already been appointed to the hub to work with local businesses and defence-industry stakeholders to help North Queensland businesses become defence-ready.

‘Queensland’s defence industries employ more than 6,500 people and generated an estimated $6.3 billion in revenue in 2015–16,’ Mr Dick said.

‘Through consultation with Townsville businesses, we have determined the key focus for the region and the services that local industry needs.

‘The Townsville hub will focus on research and development, training and simulated services, aerospace platform deep maintenance, vehicle and maritime sustainment and logistics and garrison support.’

The Townsville Defence Supply Chain Hub is a key action of the Queensland Government’s Defence Industries 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan, which aims to significantly grow the state’s defence industries.

Key achievements so far include the decision by German defence giant Rheinmetall to establish a $170 million Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence at Redbank.

Rheinmetall’s Queensland presence has opened up a variety of supply-chain opportunities for local manufacturers, which are being supported by TIQ.

One of the first businesses to take advantage of these opportunities has been Meadowbrook metal fabricator Frontline Manufacturing, which worked with TIQ Ipswich and TIQ Europe as part of a strategy to access Rheinmetall’s global supply chain.

The Queensland Government signed a memorandum of understanding with Smart Precinct North Queensland to establish the Townsville Defence Supply Chain Hub on 3 September.

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


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Trisco Foods named Queensland Exporter of the Year

A family-owned food manufacturing business from Brisbane has been named the Premier of Queensland’s Exporter of the Year 2019.

A family-owned food manufacturing business from Brisbane has been named the Premier of Queensland’s Exporter of the Year 2019.

Trisco Foods is owned by the Tristram family, which has been manufacturing food and beverage products in Queensland since 1875.

The company produces world-class food ingredients, such as syrups and flavourings, which are used by leading food companies in Australia and overseas.

Trisco has been exporting for many years and has a strong presence throughout Asia. This year it also opened a factory in Colorado Springs to service demand in the USA.

Trisco was one of 16 Queensland businesses named winners at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards Gala in Brisbane on 10 October.

Speaking after accepting the award, Trisco’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Mark Halloran, said it was great to see the company’s team recognised for their hard work.

‘Winning the Exporter of the Year Award at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards is quite a shock, to be honest,’ he said.

‘But … we’ve done the hard work and all that goes into the export area of our business.

‘It’s very rewarding for the team.’

Mr Halloran also thanked TIQ for its support.

‘Trade and Investment Queensland has been intimately involved in a number of markets we’re now selling products into,’ he said.

‘The team at TIQ has been very supportive, helpful and professional.’

This year’s awards again demonstrated the diversity of Queensland’s export sector, with other winners including Circa Contemporary Circus (Creative Industries), Ryan Aerospace (Small Business), Australian Language Schools (International Education and Training) and beef producer Mort & Co (Agribusiness, Food and Beverages Award).

Winners also came from diverse locations, with regional business from the Gold Coast to Cairns taking out 8 of the awards.

The Tristram family is well known by older Queenslanders as the name behind one of the state’s most popular soft drinks and the marketing slogan ‘Say Tristrams Please’.

The brand and soft drink business was sold to Cadbury Schweppes in 1970 when Trisco Foods began and the family started to concentrate on the ingredients business.

Queensland has around 7,300 goods-exporting companies, which sold $87 billion worth of goods to the world last financial year.

Winners in the national categories at the Queensland awards will now go on to compete in the Australian Export Awards in Canberra in December.

Visit the awards website for more information on all the winners.

Winners – Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2019

Queensland award categories:

  • Premier of Queensland’s Exporter of the Year: Trisco Foods
  • Dermot McManus Awards for Innovation: Clipchamp
  • Richard Joel Award for the Defence Industry: ImmersaView
  • Tom Burns Award for Women in International Business: Kim Parascos, CEO, iVolve Industrial Technology

National award categories:

  • Agribusiness, Food and Beverages: Mort & Co
  • Creative Industries: Circa Contemporary Circus
  • E-Commerce: Knotwood
  • Emerging Exporter: Natural Evolution
  • International Education and Training: Australian Language Schools
  • International Health: Trisco Foods
  • Manufacturing and Advanced Materials: Alpha-H
  • Minerals, Energy and Related Services: International Mill Relines
  • Professional Services: Populous
  • Regional Exporter: HeliMods
  • Small Business: Ryan Aerospace
  • Sustainability: Envirotech Education
  • Technology and Innovation: AKIPS