Innovation is important to every sector of the economy and is about new and existing businesses creating new products, processes and business models to deliver new sources of growth. Assisting business to stay competitive through innovation and the use of new technologies will contribute to economic growth, job creation, our quality of life and support diversification in industry sectors of high economic value that have low environmental impact.
The Sunshine Coast is arguably Australia’s leading regional centre for innovation, with a substantial contribution from the Noosa community, and here’s why - view the Sunshine Coast Innovation video.
The Australian and Queensland governments have a range of programs and funding support to help you develop your innovation and grow your business, as outlined in Innovation Journey.
Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast
The Innovation Centre, based at the University of the Sunshine Coast, is an entrepreneurial hub for 40+ innovative enterprises and mature startups that want to scale their business in a collaborative environment. The Innovation Centre has a purpose built 1,500 sq.m facility, a dedicated support team, incubator/accelerator progams, collaborative events, 300MBps internet connection, video studio, prototyping lab, meeting rooms, mentor panel, professional partners and access to USC Facilities and talent.
With an extensive network of local and international connections, the IC provides a highly supportive ecosystem that enables business owners to take a viable product or service to the world. Have a read of their useful KPI guide for businesses looking to scale their business.
Advance Queensland is a comprehensive suite of programs designed to create the knowledge-based jobs of the future, drive productivity improvements and build on Queensland's natural advantages. The program includes educational iniatitives, funding programs practical tools and neworking and collaboration opportunities for entrepreneurs, innovators, industry, universities and government.
Startup Onramp is a program for startup founders who currently have a day job and want to make the transition from employee to startup founder. It's a 12 week program and using a combination of workshops, mentoring and courseware, is designed to encourage more people to become startup founders and to give them the knowledge, skills and connections they need to maximise their chances of success.
Innovate Queensland is a suite of workshops, webinars and collaborations that help innovators, entrepreneurs and organisations. Their programs include:
- Skills Development Workshops which offer practical ’how to’ skills and development training.
- GRID which is a FREE LinkedIn forum and webinar series designed to foster innovation, commercialisation, knowledge sharing and collaboration across industries.
- Collaboration Activities which provide opportunities to meet and work with the potential innovation partners and commercial collaborators.
- My Innovation Advisor service which offers Queensland Innovators and inventors 1 hour of free advice from innovation specialists.
Startup Catalyst offers a structured program of site visits, private tours, guest speakers, events, dinners and social interactions, to provide participants with opportunities to build networks and connections for trade in ew international markets. Individual Missions are tailored specifically for the attendees, and include visits to tech giants, high-growth startups, local investors, corporate innovators, accelerators, incubators, and co-working spaces.
For all Advance Queensland events, visit the Advance Queensland Calendar.
National Innovation and Science Agenda
Sunshine Coast Regional Innovation Program - #SCRIPT
Noosa Council, Sunshine Coast Council and Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast, along with their project partners have been awarded Advance Queensland Regional Innovation funding. The funding was collectively matched by a number of organisations providing over $1 million over 3 years to develop innovation and entrepreneurial activities across the Sunshine Coast region.
For more information, visit Digital Sunshine Coast
Co-Working and Accelerator Spaces
Co-working spaces are a key part of the innovation and entrepreneurial eco-system. They provide purpose built spaces for freelancers, sole traders and micro and small business to work beside like-minded people in a professional, cost effective environment to encourage connection, collaboration and creative thinking.
Digital Networks & Information
A private economic development collective, which aims to facilitate change through connecting ideas to resources, and providing solutions through projects and programs with and for the Noosa community.
An entrepreneurial online community on the Sunshine Coast. A place for discussion, collaboration and ideas about innovation, creativity and startups.
Digital Sunshine Coast
Digital Sunshine Coast is a region wide collaborative project which implements the Digital Sunshine Coast Action Plan which outlines a series of digital initiatives to grow and support the sector on the Sunshine Coast.
Coding from Beach
An informal networking group for Sunshine Coast based programmers with a focus on new technologies.
Create Noosa aims to create an innovation culture and help make Noosa a centre of excellence for Creative Technology and to empower the next generation through skills, jobs and entrepreneurship.
Reboot is a group for digital creatives and professionals based in the Noosa area who provide online marketing, web/app development, content creation or related services.
This is a local group of stakeholders involved in Bitcoin, altcoins, ICOs, the blockchain, and new revenue streams for business.
Research & Development Tax Incentive
The Research & Development Tax Incentive looks to help more businesses to innovate through research and development. This incentive is a targeted, generous and easy to access entitlement program that helps businesses offset some of the costs of doing research and development.
The Digital Scorecard is designed to help businesses identify ways to improve their digital capability and become more competitive in today’s global digital economy.
Small to medium enterprises and not-for-profits can use the scorecard to find out how digitally aware and capable they are compared with others in similar industries.
You can take the assessment here: Digital Scorecard Assessment
Digital Sunshine Coast Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
A draft map was created by Digital Sunshine Coast to provide a visual representation of the Sunshine Coast’s growing Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. It is designed to capture the support and resources available for new, emerging and established entrepreneurs within the Sunshine Coast region.
By mapping the Sunshine Coast’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Digital Sunshine Coast wants to encourage closer partnerships that will cement the Sunshine Coast’s position as a leading region for innovation and business development.