Greater Whitsunday’s future focus - inspiring ingenuity to transform region

The Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP) has proved to be a great success for the Mackay-Isaac-Whitsundays region’s local innovation ecosystem.    

March 2021 saw several collaborative activities successfully closed out for the region’s Growing the Innovation Ecosystem in the Greater Whitsunday Region project. 

Led by the Greater Whitsunday Alliance (GW3), the project was co-funded with ARIP funding of $500,000, over three years to support activities focused on the uptake of new technologies and skills development.  

As part of the funding, GW3 and Cane Growers Mackay delivered Ag Mastermind, an event  that aimed to address industry challenges through collaboration and innovation. 

The Resource Industry Network also hosted a workshop at the Resources Centre of Excellence to explore leveraging XR as an introduction and discovery tour of virtual reality technology and its potential for businesses to support innovative practice implementation to the METS industry. 

Innovation Deputy Director-General, Dr Sarah Pearson and Mackay Mayor, Greg Williamson officially opened Launchpad Studios at Split Spaces providing the latest equipment for podcasts, photography and videography.  

Split Spaces Community Manager, Deb Allan said ARIP funding was fundamental to assist the local innovation ecosystem. 

“This ARIP support from Advance Queensland has supported entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses through capability workshops, helping them to develop skills that boost their digital presence and digital content creation,” Deb said. 

“With a focus on storytelling, the workshops allowed participants to use the studio with interactive training on topics, such as how to be a mobile photographer or videographer, and a three-part series on podcasting.”  

Finally, Dr Sarah Pearson also met with year nine students from Mercy College – one of the 12 schools participating in Future Anything’s Activate Program in 2021.  

The students are now preparing a social enterprise business plan and pitch as part of their final grading for the in-curriculum school entrepreneurship program, which was also supported through ARIP last year. 

Last updated 29 Apr, 2021
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