The teams from Cohort 3 and 4 of our Queensland Connects initiative showcased their groundbreaking work at Parliament House on November 29. Queensland Connects, a regional entrepreneurship acceleration program, brought together leaders to address regional challenges and unlock opportunities for growth.
Cohort 3 teams focused on topics such as enhancing business opportunities for first-generation migrants in Logan, exploring advanced simulation and testing in North Queensland, and creating sustainable Community Energy Zones in Ipswich.
Uzman Iftikhar of Catalysr presented Logan's initiative to establish a hub for migrants and refugees, to address challenges in navigating support systems. The North Queensland team, led by Miranda Mears, is aiming to capitalize on simulation infrastructure for sectors like defence and health. The Ipswich team, led by James Sturges, is exploring sharing local renewable energy to create Community Energy Zones.
Cohort 4 concentrated on disaster preparedness and resilience solutions. The drought and heatwave team, represented by Prof David Phelps and Suzanne Thompson, is working to create a Queensland Drought Resilience Alliance. Another team, led by Veronica Kregor, highlighted gaps in communication infrastructure and the need for Safe, Trusted, Informed, and Connected communications (STIC).
David Batt outlined an opportunity to develop a game for primary school children to prepare for flood events, while Mark Crawley and Kevin Bell emphasized the impact of disasters on Indigenous communities and the need to include First Nations knowledge and better assistance to help people prepare. The Connectivity team, led by Stephen Nicolson and Fraser Nai, addressed the need for improved connectivity in regional and remote areas, introducing the Connectivity Compass.
In the coming weeks, in-depth conversations with each team will delve into their work and progress.
To help develop strategies and initiatives, each team has worked with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Advance Queensland, leveraging the internationally regarded Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program framework and resources.
Queensland Connects is part of the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland Regional Futures initiative.