Central Queensland businesses with an innovative solution that could service the mining industry will have the chance to commercialise their ideas thanks to a new Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) Accelerator Program in Rockhampton.
The program is fully funded by the Palaszczuk Government and run by Rockhampton Regional Council, METS Ignited and Rockhampton SmartHub.
It will offer up to ten places to startups or scale-ups who have an innovative, cost-saving or production-efficient product or service that could be introduced to the mining sector.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said, "Our government's collaboration with METS Ignited is backed by $1.8 million funding in 2018-19 to encourage innovation and jobs growth in the state's $7 billion METS sector.
It's about helping regional businesses accelerate the commercialisation of their innovative products and services, expand their customer base and income streams, and meet the challenges that come with growth.
"The METS sector employs about 20,000 people in Queensland and activities like these are key to achieving our plan to create a further 3000 extra jobs over the next decade.
"Queensland's regional METS companies have great entrepreneurial spirit and we want them to reach their full potential, because we want the world to know that Queensland is Australia's home for METS innovation."
Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke said, "Regional accelerators are a great way for Queensland's innovative METS startups and SMEs to build their capabilities so they can remain competitive and expand their markets, and that's exactly what this one will do for central Queensland.
"This program is about supporting local early-stage companies to take their products and services to national and international markets, supporting more jobs in the process.
"Programs like this present an opportunity to not only position central Queensland businesses as solution providers to the mining industry, but also to shine a spotlight on our region as a hotspot for mining innovation in our state."
Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow said the program comes at a very opportune time as we begin to see the mining industry gain more momentum.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for our local startups to get the assistance and mentoring they need to take their product to the next level and revolutionise the mining industry," Ms Strelow said.
"We are thrilled to be hosting this program at the Rockhampton SmartHub and can't wait to see what local ideas turn into reality as a result of this program."
CEO of METS Ignited Dr Ian Dover said the CQ METS Accelerator program will be delivered between 7 March and 11 April 2019.
"METS Ignited encourages regional SMEs to take advantage of local accelerator programs like this one to expand their industry connections, boost their capabilities and realise commercialisation opportunities," Dr Dover said.
To be eligible, applicants should:
- Be registered companies that operate and employ in the Rockhampton/CQ Region, or are about to
- Supply into the mining, energy and resources sectors in Queensland, or have substantive plans to do so
- Have an innovative cost-saving or production-efficient service or product to introduce to the mining sector
- Be available to participate in the entire program
Applications close 25 February 2019.