Industry and Development: Some Innovation Awards?


Innovation David LewisThe big drivers in our region’s economy are going to be health and education. There is as well tourism, and retail and construction will grow with the others. But health and education can bring significant wealth here, from government funding of these industries, health insurance funding, and private investment.

Much of this happens independently of the council, but council has a role to play, and we must work with them.

One way of augmenting our development might be the institution of annual innovation awards. Our university is about to become part of the University of the Sunshine Coast, which has a track record of working with innovative projects, and we can work with them, as well as our other organisations like Fraser Coast Opportunities to support innovation in any number of fields. These might be in information technology, or health, or tourism, or retail. There need be no limit – left field in any field would be eligible.

This can start off simply. The current plan of a $100,000 discretionary spend for each councillor would provide ten awards of $25,000 each, if each councillor contributed just 10% of his or her fund. And we can work on partnerships with organisations like the Bendigo Community Bank.

There’s plenty to be done to see how this would work, but let’s start the conversation.

And let’s also talk about what we need for Convention tourism, a natural fit with all of these sectors, and how we can facilitate it.