Seven new high-tech hubs to encourage creativity will be established across Queensland using Queensland Hackerspaces grants.

Hackerspaces are hubs offering high-tech facilities where creative Queenslanders can design and manufacture new products.

Grants totalling $170,000 will enable seven regional communities to start hackerspaces and three south-east Queensland hackerspaces to expand.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the grants would allow the hackerspaces to buy new equipment and offer more training to creative Queenslanders.

‘The grants will mean they can buy equipment such as fabrication machines and 3D printers, run workshops in advanced manufacturing skills, and encourage entrepreneurs and innovators to take the next step to turn their ideas into products,’ Mr Dick said.

‘These spaces are places where the next generation can learn about DIY and the maker culture, acquire new knowledge and skills and inspire their passion for tech that could turn into a career in manufacturing.

‘We are generating grassroots advanced manufacturing opportunities and equipping the sector for the future by developing accessible spaces where people can come to create advanced technologies and prototypes.’

Hackerspaces are a global movement that grew out of new technologies such as 3D printers and the availability of fabrication tools, where individuals and small businesses can come together to learn faster and exchange skills and capital.

The Hackerspaces grants program is an initiative of the Queensland Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan, released in December 2016.

Hackerspaces $20,000 establishment grants have been awarded to The Makers Cairns, Split Spaces Mackay, MakerSpaces Mackay, Maleny Makers, SSC Makerspace Warana, The Arc Fortitude Valley, and YFS (Substation 33) Kingston.

Hackerspaces $10,000 expansion grants were awarded to Hackerspace Brisbane at Eagle Farm, Ipswich Hackerspace and Gold Coast Techspace at Mudgeeraba.

Supporting innovation is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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