Charters Towers Regional Council Mayor Cr Liz Schmidt has welcomed the Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP) funding to the community-based innovation incubator Innovation NQ (iNQ) project.
The iNQ grassroots entrepreneurial focus will be growing the number of successful startups and innovative small businesses to strengthen the regional economy Run in conjunction with professional services company GHD the project is expected to allow for building capacity within Charters Towers region’s small, medium and large organizations to adopt new skills, business models and digital technology solutions.
Mayor Schmidt says it’s a jobs booster.
“Council expects that this funding will provide job growth stimulus, to our school graduates and young job seekers across our region.”
Acting Innovation Minister Coralee O’Rourke says the project brings together iNQ’s grassroots community of entrepreneurs, innovators, business and community leaders, and the corporate network and experience of GHD.
The GHD-led partnership will primarily focus on connecting young professionals and university students with larger industries and local governments to help solve regional challenges and retain talent in North Queensland.
Their partners are Charters Towers Regional Council, Townsville City Council, Burdekin Shire Council, Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council and Townsville Chamber of Commerce.
iNQ Vice President Joe Hoolahan says the ARIP project will facilitate the building of a strong and dynamic innovation community.
GHD Project Leader Myles Coker said the ARIP funding will support I-TAP NQ to launch Smart Seeds in North Queensland, a global innovation program for young talent to inspire innovation in infrastructure.
“It will be inspiring to see the local young talent and grassroots innovators tackle the region’s complex challenges alongside established industry. It’s a model North Queensland can showcase to other regions around the world.”