Necessity is the mother of invention and innovators in the Moreton Bay Region are well-positioned to grab any opportunities that emerge in a post-COVID-19 world.
They will be well-supported by Innovate Moreton Bay – a tailored program that connects local entrepreneurs, harnesses existing strengths and builds regional capacity in the innovation ecosystem.
It’s focused on positioning the region as the location of choice for entrepreneurs, innovators, exporters and investors.
Regional Innovation Co-ordinator Steve Butler says the program is backed by Advance Queensland’s Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP) which ultimately aims to create jobs and turn regions like Moreton Bay into hubs for innovation and enterprise.
He believes the program’s role is more important than ever as businesses pivot to not only survive COVID-19, but hopefully thrive.
“Business founders are always having to adapt to a fast-changing environment. It’s the business owners in traditional services that are really feeling it,” Steve explains.
“The supply chain has been an issue for those relying on suppliers from China. And then there are those looking for the next opportunity.”
A key part of the program has been its network of innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and career advisors.
They have been in regular contact throughout the COVID-19 shutdown, offering advice and support.
“I’ve found it has brought the community together a lot more, reaching out and saying ‘how are you going?’. They’re looking after the network and genuinely care,” Steve says.
He and the team at Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism (MBRIT) have been working with innovators for the past two years to build a regional brand and stronger innovation ecosystem.
The aim is to make this region a location of choice for investors, innovators and entrepreneurs.
“We’re building on the region’s capacity and capability by creating opportunities that provide support to the region's founders and entrepreneurs,” Steve says.
A strong network with a collaborative and sustainable culture is key, as is increasing youth engagement via tailored programs and mentoring.
COVID-19 restrictions forced the Innovate Moreton Bay monthly social catch-ups to move online, but as they ease they will again be held at North Lakes Sports Club on the third Wednesday of the month from 3-5pm.
The shutdown did, however, fast-track the creation of additional online resources including podcasts and videos. These have offered practical tips on building resilience, digital marketing, training and much more.
Steve says his team will continue to create these resources in partnership with the experts who are part of the network, and those further afield.
“We’ll continue to provide a range of digital content so business owners can access it, no matter where they are in the region,” he says.
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