Advance Queensland scores another AU$105 million funding injection

The state's innovation fund has now received AU$755 million since it was stood up four years ago.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

The state's innovation fund Advance Queensland, launched four years ago during the 2015-16 Budget, will receive a further AU$105 million, with the state government looking to continue funding programs under the initiative.

The total Advance Queensland kitty now sits at AU$755 million. Among the programs under the Advance Queensland banner is the Ignite Ideas Fund, which the state's Budget papers [PDF] said has supported 270 Queensland businesses to date.

Other measures funded in the 2019-20 Budget include an additional AU$45 million for the Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund, AU$25 million for the Research Infrastructure Co-Investment Funds, AU$19 million for the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Development Strategy, AU$5 million for Biofutures 2.0, and AU$4 million in additional grant funding for the Advancing Small Business Queensland Strategy 2016–2020.  

The now-AU$150 million Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund, which forms part of the kitty, aims to attract interstate and overseas businesses that are considering a move to Queensland, in addition to Queensland-based businesses that are interested in expanding.

It is expected that recipients of the funding under this initiative will focus on areas including sustainable employment, regional development, increased technology and innovation, and increased investment potential for the Queensland economy.

The Advancing Small Business Queensland Strategy 2016–2020, which received AU$4 million in funding, will be released later this year.

In publishing the draft in April, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the strategy was a blueprint for the sunshine state's future to "drive jobs growth and solve some of the state's largest challenges through innovation".

"The strategy outlines five priorities to shape the next phase of Advance Queensland -- back our strengths, solve big challenges, build innovation in our regions, scale-up innovation and new skills and new jobs," the government added on Tuesday.

"Research by CSIRO's Data61 has shown that if we successfully embrace innovation, Queensland's economy will be well placed to create one million jobs by 2038."

Meanwhile, the government said it will continue to back Queensland's "startup revolution" through the AU$80 million Business Development Fund.

AU$25 million is also being provided as part of the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, bringing the total funding of this program to AU$175 million.

While AU$4.6 million over five years has been earmarked for the Digital Engagement Strategy to improve online accessibility of vocational education and consumer training information for young people.

More 2019 Budgets: Australian Capital TerritoryVictoriaWestern AustraliaNorthern TerritoryTasmaniaAustralia, and New Zealand 

Queensland has also allocated AU$8.6 million over two years to its state-owned fibre backhaul provider, FibreCo Qld; AU$350,000 has been allocated for hosting the 2018 and 2019 World Congress of Drones; AU$25 million over four years for the Queensland Government Research Infrastructure Co-Investment Fund; and AU$15 million over seven years will be given to the Defence Cooperative Research Centre for Trusted Autonomous Systems.

Internally, the Budget has provided increased funding of AU$33.3 million over four years and AU$8.1 million per annum ongoing to improve citizen-facing experiences online through the government's services channels.

The initiative aims to build more customer-focused approaches and evaluate progress.

The government said it is also providing increased funding of AU$32.2 million over four years to develop single sign-on capability for customers accessing government services online.

"Total responsive government funding of AU$65.5 million over four years will enhance digital technology and service design capabilities to make services better for Queenslanders," the Budget papers say.

The government is providing additional funding of AU$9.9 million over five years and AU$1.6 million per annum ongoing to commence implementation of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General's Information, Communication and Technology Strategy.

Queensland Health, meanwhile, will receive additional funding of AU$80 million over two years to support priority IT infrastructure upgrades.

AU$4.2 million over four years has been handed to the Legislative Assembly of Queensland to deliver "improved data service performance and reliability, data security, mobility, and business tools through provision of new software and infrastructure".

While the Budget also offers up AU$20.3 million over four years, and AU$1.3 million each year ongoing for the Queensland Government Chief Information Office to continue the Cyber Security Unit's operations


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