April 2019

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Pitch your drone project to government

Queensland start-ups and SMEs working on innovative drone technology could win the chance to pitch their project directly to Queensland Government decision-makers under the new SparkPlug program.

Queensland start-ups and SMEs working on innovative drone technology could win the chance to pitch their project directly to Queensland Government decision-makers under the new SparkPlug program.

SparkPlug aims to connect innovators with the right Queensland Government contacts, with the potential to open doors to project funding, trials or even adoption.

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

Successful applicants will then be given information on how to pitch to government prior to the SparkPlug pitching event.

SparkPlug is a new program from Advance Queensland and will call for solutions to government challenges in different service or technology areas.

The first priority area is drone technology, which will be the focus for Spark Plug 1.

To be eligible, applicants must:

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

Additionally, the product or service proposed for the pitch event should:

  • be a fully developed, validated solution with at least 1 customer
  • take into consideration the regulatory requirements necessary for the Queensland Government to implement the product or service.

Applications close at 2pm on 15 April and successful applicants will be notified by the end of April.

The pitching event will be held on 10 May.

You can learn more at the SparkPlug webpage.

Supporting start-ups and the aerospace sector are both priorities in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

TIQ is actively supporting a number of Queensland drone businesses, including coordinating a recent delegation to the Japan Drone Expo.

The state’s growing drone industry is highlighted in the Queensland Drones Strategy.

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Australia-Hong Kong FTA signed off

The new Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and associated investment agreement will lock in zero tariffs on goods, guarantee market access for service suppliers and improve conditions for two-way investment once in force.

The new Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and associated investment agreement will lock in zero tariffs on goods, guarantee market access for service suppliers and improve conditions for two-way investment once in force.

The agreements were signed in Sydney on 26 March by Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham, and Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau.

The FTA and investment agreement cover trade in goods, services, investment, intellectual property, government procurement, competition and more.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Greater China and Hong Kong Julie-Anne Nichols said the agreements would strengthen relationships with this significant trading partner.

‘The Australia-Hong Kong FTA will guarantee continued access to the Hong Kong market for Queensland businesses exporting education, finance and professional services,’ she said.

‘It will also guarantee that Hong Kong will not apply tariffs to Queensland goods exports in the future.

‘Hong Kong is an important business base in Asia and a gateway to showcase Queensland’s premium goods and services to the region.

‘I think the FTA will also create broader opportunities for Queensland in the Greater Bay Area, which includes Hong Kong, 9 mainland China cities and Macau.’

Trading rules on ecommerce, financial services, telecommunications and intellectual property were also agreed. For Queensland businesses making long-term investment decisions, this will provide greater regulatory certainty.

Before the agreements can come into force, both countries must complete their own domestic treaty-making processes. For Australia, this will include tabling the text of the agreements in federal parliament and an inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.

Queensland’s merchandise exports to Hong Kong were valued at $379.3 million in 2017–18, with the top export commodities being meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables, and coal.

If you’d like advice on exporting to Hong Kong or other overseas markets, contact TIQ today.

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Grants available for biomedical businesses

Queensland-based biomedical businesses interested in attracting new domestic and international clients can now apply for funding from Round 2 of the Queensland Biomedical Voucher Program.

Queensland-based biomedical businesses interested in attracting new domestic and international clients can now apply for funding from Round 2 of the Queensland Biomedical Voucher Program.

The program offers up to 50% of the fees that a Queensland biomedical provider would normally charge a national or international client to develop the client’s biomedical product in Queensland, up to a cap of $250,000 (with the client paying the other 50%).

Services that are eligible for funding include:

  • design development and validation
  • prototype building and testing
  • contract development and/or manufacturing
  • contract research, specialist advice or professional services
  • commercialisation advice and services
  • the cost of small items of plant and equipment needed to provide the biomedical services.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said that Round 1 of the program had attracted a Canadian company and 3 interstate businesses to access Queensland’s biomedical capabilities.

‘Our Round 1 funding support of $579,367 (excluding GST) leveraged impressive co-funding of $4,861,161,’ Mr Dick said.

‘This is a significant inflow of capital and we expect it will boost future collaborations and create opportunities for other Queensland-based businesses who can assist in commercialising new biomedical products.

‘We hope Round 2 is equally successful in bringing customers and capital to Queensland and embedding our world-class biomedical infrastructure and capabilities in the national and international biomedical product value chain.’

Round 1 recipients included Patheon, which is now providing services to Montreal-based Forbius to develop an antibody drug to help treat rapidly progressing cancers, and to Sydney-based DendroCyte for its BioTech project, which will see the development of a new monoclonal antibody to improve bone marrow transplant outcomes.

Businesses interested in applying should read the program guidelines first.

Applications are due 12 noon Thursday 27 June.

An expert panel will then assess applications against criteria that will identify projects that offer the greatest benefit to the local biomedical industry, and to Queensland.

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

TIQ is working with a number of Queensland’s biomedical businesses to explore their export opportunities.

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Learn how to write winning investment proposals

With practical content and great networking opportunities, TIQ’s Business growth essentials workshops are hitting the mark according to participant feedback.

With practical content and great networking opportunities, TIQ’s Business growth essentials workshops are hitting the mark according to participant feedback.

The Bundaberg ‘Attract funding’ workshop in late March attracted 55 attendees to hear from highly regarded speakers and learn from relevant case studies.

Attendee Dennis O’Brien, Export and Quality Assurance Manager of Australian Seafood, said the seminar highlighted the variety of products and the extent of business success in the Wide Bay area.

‘I was very impressed with the diverse range of guest speakers and the high degree of consistency between the speakers,’ he said.

The workshop also addressed how to partner with TIQ to achieve outcomes.

‘There is value in knowing that a body of people at TIQ are out there ready to help establish new business in the Wide Bay area,’ Dennis said.

Getting to meet business leaders from the Wide Bay Burnett community was an added benefit for attendee Sebastian Cerone of Less Industries.

‘It was inspiring to have so many businesspeople in one place and to hear their stories,’ Mr Cerone said.

‘The forum was amazing and exactly what I needed.

‘I congratulate TIQ on the investment training initiative and would like to do more,’ he said.

The ‘Attract funding’ workshops were part of TIQ’s Business growth essentials series, which has been rolling out across regional Queensland since February.

Next in the series will be ‘Create winning investment proposals’, which will run from late April into May in locations across Queensland.

The workshops are being funded under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022, which aims to increase Queensland’s export and investment outcomes.

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Queensland drone industry flies high in Japan

Queensland’s drone industry was centre stage in Japan recently, with Queensland drone experts speaking at a major conference and signing a significant research agreement.

Queensland’s drone industry was centre stage in Japan recently, with Queensland drone experts speaking at a major conference and signing a significant research agreement.

Representatives from Queensland’s World of Drones Congress, Barcaldine’s Outback Aerodrone symposium, and drone business Little Ripper were all in Tokyo to attend the Japan Drone Expo.

The Outback Aerodrone symposium was represented by officers from the Central West Queensland Remote Area Planning and Development Board and Barcaldine Regional Council.

The Queenslanders were hosted at the expo and a range of business meetings by staff from TIQ’s Tokyo office, who have been building the profile of Queensland’s drone industry in Japan.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Japan Tak Adachi said Queensland had real potential to become a global centre for drone-industry development and testing.

‘The World of Drones Congress brings the world’s leading drone researchers and businesses to Brisbane every year,’ he said.

‘And now we also have the Outback Aerodrone Symposium, which gives delegates from overseas the opportunity to travel to Western Queensland and see how Queensland’s wide open spaces are ideal for drone testing.

‘TIQ Tokyo accompanied Japanese drone delegates to both of these events in 2018, and we’re very pleased to now see Queensland’s drone leaders coming to Japan to further build relationships.’

Queensland drone expert Dr Catherine Ball from the World of Drones Congress spoke at the Japan Drone Expo, as did Little Ripper CEO Eddie Bennet BM.

Little Ripper, which has its engineering headquarters at Carrara on the Gold Coast, is attracting worldwide interest for its pioneering use of drones for search and rescue.

Mr Adachi said that the World of Drones Congress and Little Ripper had also used their visit as an opportunity to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Japan UAS Industry Development Association, committing all parties to ongoing collaboration on drone education and industry development.

The Queensland drones delegation was in Japan 11–15 March, and attended the Japan Drone Expo from 13–15 March.

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

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$1.3m funding to boost Queensland food exports

From mudcrabs and mandarins to lettuce, ginger and Granite Belt wines, more Queensland food products will find their way to world markets with help from a $1.3 million export grants program.

From mudcrabs and mandarins to lettuce, ginger and Granite Belt wines, more Queensland food products will find their way to world markets with help from a $1.3 million export grants program.

The Growing Queensland’s Food Exports Program is designed to boost Queensland’s regional economies by helping local food producers build their export capability.

The second round of the program has awarded grants of up to $100,000 to 8 Queensland food companies, including Australian Gulf Seafoods in north Queensland, Ironbark Citrus in Wide Bay and Kominos Wines in the Granite Belt.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the program helped local producers break into lucrative overseas markets and supply chains.

‘This $1.3 million pilot program aims to boost Queensland’s food exports, delivering jobs and economic growth in regional areas,’ he said.

‘By providing matching grants of up to $100,000, [we’re] supporting producers and food businesses to improve their export competitiveness through better understanding of their markets.’

Companies receiving grants in this second round of funding are:

The grants will be used for a range of projects, including market analysis, shelf-life research, and business trips to investigate overseas markets.

TIQ has previously worked with a number of the companies, including hosting Australian Gulf Seafoods on a China trade mission, showcasing Gin Gin & Dry to buyers during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, and connecting Natural Evolution to Singapore-based distributors.

The Growing Queensland’s Food Exports Program focuses primarily on horticulture, and provides grants of $50,000–$100,000, with successful applicants contributing at least 50% of the required project funding. More than $550,000 in funding was allocated in the previous funding round.

Queensland is Australia’s largest producer of vegetables and second-largest producer of fruit and nuts.

Increasing the state’s share of national exports and strengthening regional economies are both priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Photo courtesy of Ironbark Citrus.

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Time to fill in International Business Survey 2019

This year’s survey features additional questions on key markets like India, as well as the use of innovation in international market development activities.

Queensland exporters are urged to have their say by completing this year’s Australia’s International Business Survey (AIBS) now.

The survey is an opportunity for businesses around Australia to highlight their export opportunities and challenges, giving the federal government important information it can act on.

More Queensland data in the survey will give decision-makers a more accurate picture of the state’s export performance.

AIBS is a collaboration between the Export Council of Australia (ECA), Austrade and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The annual study provides insights into Australia’s international business activity and evaluates the impact of international economic trends on Australian business.

ECA Head of Policy Heath Baker said it was a crucial time for businesses to have their voices heard on the international business issues that affect them the most.

‘The survey results inform the trade debate and assist organisations like the ECA to provide services that best support Australian businesses along their international journey,’ Mr Baker said.

Last year’s respondents painted a picture of an ambitious and diversified Australian international business community, providing insights into trade with emerging markets like Latin America as well as their use of ecommerce and digital technologies.

This year’s survey features additional questions on key markets like India, as well as the use of innovation in international market development activities.

Participants should allow about 20 minutes to complete the survey, which is due by 24 April.

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

The first 500 survey respondents will be eligible to receive a 30% discount on ECA membership, with the next 500 eligible to receive a 15% discount.

The first 25 existing ECA members who complete the survey and contact ECA will also be eligible to receive a 30% discount on the latest edition of the Australian Export Handbook.

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Hong Kong high-schoolers heading for Queensland

Parents, teenagers and education agents gathered in Hong Kong recently to hear how Queensland high schools can help international students learn the skills they need for 21st-century success.

Parents, teenagers and education agents gathered in Hong Kong recently to hear how Queensland high schools can help international students learn the skills they need for 21st-century success.

More than 70 people attended a forum with a panel of Queensland high-school principals, who were in town as part of an Independent Schools Queensland mission to Hong Kong.

Nine independent schools participated in events organised by TIQ Hong Kong to help spread the word about Queensland’s world-class education offering.

The principals’ forum was moderated by Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for China and Hong Kong Julie-Anne Nichols.

Ms Nichols said that Queensland’s holistic learning model was very different from a typical Hong Kong education.

‘Hong Kong schooling typically focuses on traditional core skills and STEM,’ she said.

‘In comparison, Queensland high schools take a more holistic approach that emphasises students’ emotional intelligence, independence, analytical skills and risk appetite in preparing them for their ongoing education and working life.’

Ms Nichols said TIQ was delighted to support the Hong Kong leg of the mission, which was coordinated by Mariana Lane from Independent Schools Queensland and also visited Macau and Taiwan.

As at December 2018, 3,321 students from Hong Kong were studying in Queensland, with around 10% enrolled in schools.

International education is identified as Queensland’s second-most valuable services export (after tourism) in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you’re a Queensland education provider interested in the Hong Kong market, email Diana Liu in TIQ’s Hong Kong office.

If you’re an overseas student interested in studying in Queensland, you can explore your options on the Study Queensland website.

Mission participants

  • All Saints Anglican School
  • Caloundra City Private School
  • Clayfield College
  • Ipswich Grammar School
  • John Paul International College
  • Redeemer Lutheran College
  • St Paul’s School
  • The Glennie School
  • West Moreton Anglican College
  • Independent Schools Queensland

March 2019

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Indian entrepreneurs set to promote Queensland

Two high-profile Indian entrepreneurs will tour Queensland as part of an initiative to boost trade and education links with one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Two high-profile Indian entrepreneurs will tour Queensland as part of an initiative to boost trade and education links with one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

The 2019 Queensland-India Innovators’ Experience will welcome two leading entrepreneurs to Queensland this April as part of the innovation festival QODE.

Zone Startups director Ajay Ramasubramania from Mumbai and Perfit 3D director Eobin George from Cochin will visit Queensland from 1 to 7 April, meeting local entrepreneurs and innovators, running workshops, and communicating with stakeholders in Queensland and India.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the entrepreneurs would have a chance to immerse themselves in Queensland’s world-class innovation and education culture, and share their experiences with networks across the state and in India.

‘They’ll participate in QODE and visit key centres for innovation and education around the state – including the Precinct in Brisbane and the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct,’ she said.

‘These entrepreneurs will share their experiences with local innovators at The Precinct, with international students across the state and prospective entrepreneurs and students back at home in India.’

Ms Jones said international education was an important part of the Queensland-India Trade and Investment Strategy 2018–2023.

‘Boosting our exchange of students is an important part of our strategy to strengthen our trade relationship with India,’ she said.

‘The Indian Government has a series of strong targets when it comes to providing higher education for a greater percentage of their population.

‘We’re making it crystal clear – we’re going to market Queensland aggressively in the subcontinent because we believe we’re in the perfect position to make the most of that growth – that’s exactly what this program is all about.’

The 2019 Queensland-India Innovators’ Experience is a joint initiative of Study Queensland and Advance Queensland.

The two entrepreneurs were selected through a competition that was open to graduate entrepreneurs, influencers and start-up founders.

Zone Startups is an Indian start-up accelerator that works closely with entrepreneurs and the digital innovation industry.

Perfit 3D provides a 3D body-scanning solution that rapidly captures measurements and transfers these to a robotic cutting machine.International education and training is Queensland’s fastest growing services export, worth $4.6 billion and supporting 21,000 jobs.

India is the state’s second-largest source market for students.

International education and training is identified as Queensland’s second-most valuable services export (after tourism) in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Ajay Ramasubramaniam

Ajay Ramasubramaniam from Zone Startups.

Eobin George

Eobin George from Perfit 3D.

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NQ farmers train next generation of Japanese ag experts

Nine Japanese agriculture students will spend 2019 living and training with farmers in the Whitsunday region as part of a new international education program.

Nine Japanese agriculture students will spend 2019 living and training with farmers in the Whitsunday region as part of a new international education program.

The Whitsunday Agri-Knowledge Sharing Project will give 5 female and 4 male students practical on-farm training to complement their classroom studies already completed in Japan.

The project, an Australian first, is a collaboration between the Bowen Gumlu Growers Association, Whitsunday Regional Council, TAFE Queensland and Study Queensland.

Study Queensland Executive Director Shannon Willoughby said the project was a win-win for regional Queensland and Japan’s agriculture sector.

‘International education and training is helping to diversify the Whitsunday region economy, and Japan’s future agriculture leaders are sharing in Queensland’s agricultural skills and expertise,’ she said.

‘The project also has the potential to extend into the future and attract agriculture students from other countries.

‘By supporting this first cohort of students to have a memorable and positive experience, we can create ambassadors for Queensland and attract further students to the region in coming years.’

The Japanese students’ North Queensland experience will begin with a month of English classes at Bowen TAFE before they move to on-farm activities.

The students will then work with local growers to learn Australian horticultural practices, including laying plastics, irrigation, planting, picking, packing and organic growing.

Five local farms, a seedling company and agronomy business will be involved, including growers of beans, corn, tomatoes, capsicums, cucumbers, pumpkins and mangoes.

Study Queensland worked with TIQ’s Japan office and TIQ Mackay to connect with the Japan Agricultural Exchange Council and the collaborating North Queensland groups.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Japan Tak Adachi said the project had the potential to contribute to trade outcomes in the future.

‘Bringing together the next generation of Japanese agricultural leaders with local Queensland farmers has great potential,’ he said.

‘It can contribute to a better understanding of opportunities arising from the Japan–Australia free trade agreement, and hopefully help to stimulate more agricultural trade between Queensland and Japan, especially from regional Queensland.’

The Whitsunday Agri-Knowledge Sharing Project is co-funded by the International Education and Training Partnership Fund under the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

It was initiated by the Bowen Chamber of Commerce and also supported by the Greater Whitsunday Alliance (GW3).

The project launched in Bowen on Thursday 14 March.