I-TAP NQ turns to fresh ideas for North Queensland’s infrastructure challenges

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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 social development.

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 by obstacles.”

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.

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