The QLD Government will invest a further $50 million to position Queensland as a world leader in artificial intelligence and robotics.
The funding will be allocated for the Advance Queensland program, announced in last night’s state budget.
Innovation Minister Kate Jones said using advanced technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence, autonomous machines and vehicles and big data was critical to the future competitiveness of all Queensland’s industries.
“Advance Queensland is about ensuring the future of our state – and creating jobs and opportunities now and for our children,” Ms Jones said.
“That is why we are lifting our overall investment in Advance Queensland to a $650 million program.
“We are investing $15 million in the IndustryTech fund to back projects that develop and deploy these cross-cutting technologies right here in Queensland and we will also create an Artificial Intelligence hub.”
Ms Jones wants QLD to be a world leader in technology to boost existing and emerging industries.
The IndustryTech fund will back game-changing projects that combine and leverage the know-how of startups, small businesses, researchers and industry partners.
“In areas like drones, this kind of support has helped place Queensland as a global centre for technology development, benefiting our defence support, agriculture and resources sectors,” Ms Jones said.
“These technologies will create new job opportunities but we need workers with the skills. In Queensland right now, we can only fill one in eight available jobs in artificial intelligence.”
Connecting business with AI startups
Ms Jones said the Artificial Intelligence Hub, to develop more skills in AI and to connect business with AI startups and researchers, will be based at the Precinct in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, the state’s biggest centre for startups and entrepreneurs.
The Precinct is to be expanded by 50 per cent to meet demand for space for new high-tech businesses and create new networks.
And Regional Queensland will be a major focus in developing new technology, with the Regional Internet of Things (RIoT) Program to fund local projects helping local business, communities and councils to trial the use of connected devices on farms, in factories and in towns.
Learning new skills
“We will also help regional businesses to engage with the digital economy and innovation, learning new skills and to how to work together to grow through ideas,” Ms Jones said.
“We will also help local startup hubs across the state, with additional support to our Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP), which has partners working together to harness innovation all over Queensland.”
The Australian first Hot DesQ program, which attracts startups from interstate and overseas to come to Queensland to share their connections and experience with local startups, will be extended for a further two years.
Partnership with German research body
The budget also provides support for Griffith University to partner with Germany’s leading research body, the Fraunhofer Institute, to develop solutions for antibiotic resistant drugs.
“This is the first time the Fraunhofer Institute has partnered with an Australian university and this will happen at the Gold Coast, as part of the Health and Knowledge Precinct, a legacy of the Commonwealth Games.”
Ms Jones said the new investment was additional to the $73 million in election commitments for Advance Queensland, including support for:
- Ignite Ideas Fund
- Industry Research Fellowships
- Regional Startup Onramp Program
- Female Founders program
- Deadly Innovation program
“Advance Queensland is working – we have supported over 3100 innovators whose projects are driving over 11,300 jobs,” Ms Jones said.