13 October 2017
One of the world’s top employee-owned professional services
companies, GHD, has partnered with the Queensland Government, local
governments and businesses across North Queensland to open up
established industry to innovation and support more entrepreneurs
in the region.
Led by industry and government partners
and delivered by GHD, the Innovation & Technology Adoption
Program (I-TAP NQ) aims to cultivate new opportunities for young
people and entrepreneurs to contribute to the region’s economic and
The collaborative project is supported
by the Queensland Government through the Advancing Regional
Innovation Program (ARIP). The funding was secured with the
committed support of GHD, Townsville City Council, Burdekin Shire
Council, Charters Towers Regional Council, Palm Island Aboriginal
Shire Council and Townsville Chamber of Commerce.
Myles Coker, GHD Project Leader, says
the ARIP funding would support I-TAP NQ to launch Smart Seeds in
North Queensland, a global innovation program for young talent to
inspire innovation in infrastructure. Grassroots innovators and
entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to connect with
industry on local challenges though I-TAP NQ.
Myles says, “Working with diverse
organisations to create shared value for the region has delivered a
really exciting innovation program in North Queensland. It will be
inspiring to see the region’s young talent and grassroots
innovators tackle the region’s complex challenges with the support
of established industry”.
Smart Seeds brings together young
talent across all sectors to develop creative concepts in response
to local infrastructure challenges. Throughout the experience,
teams are provided with practical skills and tools to facilitate
innovation and mentored by growing leaders and entrepreneurs in the
region. The program will culminate with the Showcase Event, where
each team will present their idea to a live audience and judging
panel of influential North Queensland leaders.
According to Kumar Parakala, GHD Global
Digital Leader, “Breaking down boundaries between generations,
organisations and disciplines is a great way to cross-pollinate and
cultivate new ideas. We believe unexpected opportunities will come
from people who are unencumbered by the status quo and undeterred
I-TAP NQ is designed to connect
established industry with entrepreneur and startup communities in
the region. Joe Hoolahan, Vice President of startup incubator
Innovation NQ, says more collaboration would facilitate the
building of a strong and dynamic innovation community.
“We look forward to being able to build
a supportive, collaborative and vibrant startup and innovation
ecosystem in the whole of North Queensland, through education,
connection and engagement from all sectors,” Joe says.