BUNDABERG start-up businesses will be given a leg up thanks to a $1 million State Government program aimed at establishing innovative hubs across the Wide Bay.
Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said the government would support three innovation hub programs in the region with $500,000 over three years from its $6 million Advancing Regional Innovation Program.
Ms Enoch said the government's contribution would nearly be matched by the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils, which secured support from 23 collaborative partners including the community backed co-working space the Generator in Bundaberg, and five of the region's councils.
"This collaborative project between business, government, research and education sectors will boost start-up and innovative small business density throughout the Wide Bay region by building collaborative networks, including the launch and planning for two new innovation hubs in addition to The Generator,” Ms Enoch said.
The Generator co-founder and community manager Eleanor Carey said the funding would provide an enormous boost to the area's start-up and innovation ecosystem.
"This ARIP funding will allow us to lift The Generator from a co-working space to an innovation hub, by providing much needed assistance to improve facilities and programs to better serve our start-up and small business community,” Ms Carey said.
"The flow-on effect will be a larger number of start-ups in the Wide Bay Burnett region that are better supported and equipped to succeed both nationally and globally.”
Ms Enoch said the Spinstart Accelerator program in the Fraser Coast would be progressed by the end of the year, and planning for an innovation hub in Gympie was also underway.
WBBROC chairman and Gympie Mayor Mick Curran welcomed the funding.
"The funding and regional program will enable our local entrepreneurs, business leaders and key industries to collaborate more closely with government to harness innovation, unlock business potential and prepare regional Queenslanders for the jobs of the future”, Cr Curran said.
"The program will also enable a tailored approach to connecting local efforts, harnessing existing strengths and building regional capability.”