Queensland’s move to develop a strong innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystem has received a boost, with the state set to welcome international teams in The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP) in 2019.
The announcement that MIT REAP Team Queensland has been selected to host the January 2019 workshop of its global cohort – the only workshop in the two-year series held outside of Boston – was made by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the BIO International Convention in Boston.
“Innovation is critical for the future of our whole state,” Ms Palaszczuk said. “Our Advance Queensland initiative is helping to drive new jobs and opportunities – and the REAP workshop is an important opportunity to learn from the world and better understand how we can work together to harness the power of innovation.”
MIT REAP teams are made up of personnel from universities, business, government, risk capital and the entrepreneurial community. QUT is a partner in Team Queensland, along with Rio Tinto, Blue Sky Ventures, Redeye.co, the Queensland Government and the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur.
QUT Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Margaret Sheil AO, who is attending the BIO International Convention, welcomed the announcement and the opportunity it provides to showcase Queensland and its emerging innovation ecosystem.
Attending the MIT REAP workshop (January 29 - February 1, 2019) will be members of the cohort teams from King Abdullah Economic City (Saudi Arabia), Quito (Ecuador), Lebanon, Ghana, Algeria, Yakutia (Russia), and Melbourne, as well as MIT leaders.
The workshop will be bookended by a range of tours and activities in an ‘MIT week’, with Team Queensland, which is championed by QUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Arun Sharma, to host a celebration Global Innovation Gala Dinner.
The MIT REAP workshop will lead into the next MIT Bootcamp to be held at QUT on February 2-8. This is the third MIT Bootcamp entrepreneurship program to be held at QUT in partnership with Advance Queensland, following successful Bootcamps in February this year and March 2017.
MIT REAP Team Queensland is focused on innovation-driven entrepreneurship and technological advances in Queensland’s key mining, agribusiness and environment sectors to promote sustainable growth and overcome barriers to innovation and knowledge transfer.
The team has conducted rigorous analysis of existing and original data on innovation and entrepreneurial capacity in Queensland and will now move to develop and implement strategies to stimulate and accelerate innovation-driven entrepreneurship in the region.
Team Queensland Champion Professor Sharma said hosting the MIT REAP workshop next year was an opportunity to show the world what makes the state unique in the innovation landscape.
“We will be highlighting how advances in science and technology can be combined with developments in new business models to drive innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in regional Queensland,” he said.
“Our aim is to create a globally leading innovation ecosystem for the sustainable growth of Queensland’s sectoral strengths in mining, environment and agri-business”.
Director of MIT REAP Sarah Jane Maxted said, “Hosting a workshop is a huge opportunity to bring together key leaders and visionaries in Queensland and more broadly Australia to move the entire innovation ecosystem forward.”
Main photo: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Boston with Professor Scott Stern, David Sarnoff Professor of Management at MIT Sloan School of Management.