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Ready for resilience as Gladstone Connects shapes innovative future

Published:28 October 2020

Gladstone Connects project lead Dr Linda Pfeiffer (left) with event speakers and supporters at the launch event.

Gladstone business, industry and community leaders are determined to drive new manufacturing and tourism opportunities for the region, thanks to the Gladstone Connects project launched at CQUniversity Gladstone.

Part of the larger Queensland Connects program to grow innovation, supported by the Advance Queensland and the international MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program.

Gladstone Connects began in 2018 and is led by CQUni academic Dr Linda Pfeiffer, with support from local government, corporate and entrepreneur partners.

Each regional team identifies a ‘must win battle’ to address, and Gladstone Connects aims to support the diversification of the regional economy to reduce reliance on heavy industry, and transform the region into one where innovative businesses engage, thrive and grow.

On Friday 23 October 2020, more than 60 community representatives heard from project partners about the next stage of Gladstone Connects, following a survey report prepared by Gladstone Engineering Alliance.

The report captured innovation and growth priorities from 46 local businesses, and highlighted the importance of investing in skills development and clear major project schedules.

Dr Pfeiffer said the research reflected optimism about Gladstone’s opportunities for innovation.

“Being part of the project motivated participants to continue remaining resilient and to enable change in all aspects of their business so they can prepare Gladstone for the future,” she said.

“Businesses want to be part of the solution, and this project has achieved the objective of mapping the ecosystem of business involvement, to assist in guiding Gladstone Connects in developing the outcome of our innovation pathway.”

The launch event heard from CQUni Associate Vice-President (Gladstone and Wide Bay Region) Luke Sinclair and academic Dr Vanesa Bochkezanian, QUT’s Professor Rowena Barrett, Australia Pacific LNG CEO Nick McKenna, and Berg Engineering CEO Derek Berg.

The project will present workshops across 2021, covering human issues, Indigenous tourism, local priorities and industrial tourism.