Advancing Regional Innovation Program

Encourages innovation across Queensland and supports local economies to create jobs for regional Queenslanders.

What's important

  • Twelve Queensland regions have access to a dedicated fund of $500,000 each.
  • Applications have closed. Each successful applicant developed a collaborative action plan that outlines a tailored program of activities that responds to the local needs and the stage of development of its community.
  • Activities include mentoring, capability development, and innovation spaces, to connect entrepreneurs with each other and with industry and to coordinate local efforts.
  • To ensure that the program extends across regions, each region must undertake outreach activities to foster innovation across a broader geographic and demographic audience, in at least two locations across the region.
  • Successful recipients can be contacted directly to enquire about future opportunities for involvement in activities and events in each region.

About the program

Advance Queensland's Advancing Regional Innovation Program aims to turn our regions into hubs for innovation and enterprise. It will enable local entrepreneurs, business leaders and key industries to collaborate closely and with government to harness innovation and unlock business potential, strengthen existing industries and prepare regional Queenslanders for jobs of the future.

The program's tailored approach helps to connect local efforts, harness existing strengths and build regional capability. The intention is to build networks of innovative communities across the state that reflect the diversity of Queensland's regions, draw people together and boost grassroots activities. 

The program aims to support the development and increased maturity of regional innovation initiatives. The objectives are to promote:

  • Collaboration—encouraging stakeholders to collaborate to build innovation capabilities across their region
  • Leverage—ensuring activities have broad support and contributions from multiple partners
  • Sustainability—seeding activities, relationships and structures that will extend beyond the funding commitment for this program
  • Impact—supporting activities that make a demonstrable difference to innovation-driven opportunities and jobs in regional Queensland.

The program has designated 12 regions each with a $500,000 Advancing Regional Innovation Program.

  • Darling Downs and Maranoa
  • Far North Queensland
  • North Queensland
  • Gold Coast
  • Fitzroy
  • Wide Bay Burnett
  • Ipswich and West Moreton
  • Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday
  • Moreton Bay
  • Outback Queensland
  • Redland and Logan
  • Sunshine Coast

Development of the program (formerly known as the Advance Queensland Regional Innovation Hubs Program) was supported by research on the features of successful innovation ecosystems. We partnered with strategy and design company Business Models Inc. and identified five key features for successful ecosystems.

Read the discussion paper.

For further program information and assistance, please email

Regional Innovation Showcase

Advance Queensland provides the opportunity for regional innovators and entrepreneurs to hear local and international speakers and connect with a valuable network of collaboration and partnership opportunities across Australia, Asia Pacific and beyond.

As part of the 2020 QODEX expo, Advance Queensland will feature delegations of regional innovation startups and entrepreneurs from each of our 12 Queensland regions.

This regional showcase provides an invaluable platform to highlight your business and innovations to a world-class audience and is an ideal opportunity to connect and collaborate with experts and business and innovation leaders from across the globe. 

Ten places available for each of our regions, so if you are a startup or SME in the innovation and tech sectors, a business entering or about to enter a high growth phase, or a female founder or an Indigenous business, that is looking to create value from your ideas contact your Regional Innovation Coordinator.

Nominations close Monday, 3 February 2020, 5pm.

More information


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