28th June 2021

A report investigating nine areas of growth crucial for Queensland’s future economy and the emerging job opportunities has been prepared by QUT and CSIRO researchers.

Commissioned by the Department of Environment and Science, the report called A New Chapter: Opportunities to Seed New Industries for Queensland Over the Coming Decade, was developed by CSIRO, in collaboration with QUT’s Centre for Future Enterprise and uses current knowledge and data to predict a set of nine industry development opportunities aligned with Queensland’s comparative advantages and scientific strengths.

QUT Vice Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil (pictured below) said the report highlights the critical importance of government-industry-academic collaborations.

“Queensland and QUT are the home of brilliant data scientists and the potential to build on this capability is world-leading,” Professor Sheil said in a speech at QUT to launch the report.

Professor Sheil highlighted some examples of QUT’s work in developing technologies such as new polymers, polymer degradation and synthetic biology to tackle the issue of waste as well as the development of a world-first, virus-filtering mask material made from agricultural waste.

“This is of great importance to the tertiary sector as it will further assist in identifying areas of study and skills we need to develop,” she said. “More importantly it will also signpost for future students where they may like to consider studying to be able to work in these exciting growth areas.”

Queensland Minister for Science Meaghan Scanlon said the report would be a vital tool not only for industry looking for areas of opportunity, but also for universities and TAFE institutions looking to support of the next generation of Australian workers.

“This is where the demand for jobs will be in the next 10 to 20 years, the report offers signposts for areas of study and skills training,” Minister Scanlon said.

“This report showcases where our scientific advantage can be leveraged and where opportunities for expansion and growth can be found.

“The Queensland Government has a role to play in building thriving ecosystems around each opportunity, across large and small business, investors, overseas players, entrepreneurs, and research institutes.

“DES's science and technology division will work closely with other relevant Queensland Government agencies to identify policies and programs that can support the identified opportunities and will continue to provide the government with advice on how these and other options can support Queensland’s economic recovery."

QUT co-author, Dr Char-lee Moyle, said the nine areas were evaluated by considering the social, economic and environmental benefits and costs.

Dr Moyle developed the Longitudinal Australian Business Integrated Intelligence (LABii) database which provides accurate and granular measures of business innovation in Australia.

“LABii provides rich data to inform policy and economic investment on where the jobs will be in the future and this report showcases the growth potential, particularly in green metals, artificial intelligence in healthcare and agricultural technology,” she said.

“In this report we developed a world leading approach to identifying the number of emerging technology businesses in Queensland using LABii microdata. This new methodology, as well as the LABii data, helps government and businesses pinpoint emerging opportunities and make confident evidence-based decisions relating to investment in these sectors.”

CSIRO Data61 report co-author, Dr Claire Naughtin said anticipating future global trends and areas of need led to identifying nine emerging, knowledgedriven seed industries that have potential for strong, sustained jobs growth, if supportive ecosystems can be established for them.

The nine areas of growth are:

  • Additive biomanufacturing: Using additive manufacturing processes for medical applications to provide highly customised body parts, scaffolds or medical devices
  • AI-enabled healthcare: Leveraging growing capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI) and electronic medical records to improve health outcomes and system efficiencies
  • Green metal manufacturing: Creating new value in the manufacturing and mining sectors by taking advantage of the state’s abundant clean energy and mineral resources
  • Resource recovery technologies: Transforming existing waste streams into higher-value products, diverting waste from landfill, and reducing demand on virgin materials
  • Microalgal and macroalgal resources: Contributing to solving significant global food, water, and emissions challenges by using natural resources and local expertise to grow algae
  • Agricultural sensors and automation: Applying robotics, sensors, and other automation technologies to boost the productivity and global competitiveness of the agriculture sector
  • Supply chain provenance technologies: Building trust and increasing the value of exports by using technologies to improve the traceability, transparency and authenticity of supply chains
  • Disaster resilience and response technologies: Translating existing capabilities in robotics, autonomous systems and data analytics to improve preparedness and resilience to disasters
  • Construction technologies: Reducing safety risks in the construction sector by using assistive technologies and maximising off-site automated processing

“Each of these seed industries were identified by exploring sectors in Queensland where increasing demand could be met by existing and emerging supply. We analysed existing data to determine the number of potential businesses that each industry could support in the future,” Dr Naughtin said.

The report found the agricultural sensors and automation sector alone was projected to create around 3,600 direct and 11,000 indirect jobs in Queensland by 2030.

Media contact:                      media@qut.edu.au

DES Media Unit on (07) 3339 5831 or media@des.qld.gov.au


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