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CRCNA calls for project expressions of interest

The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) announced that it will be open to receive expressions of interest from potential project participants from 2 October 2017.

The CRCNA is asking agricultural and food businesses, private health providers, universities, research bodies, financial services companies, and regional development organisations to consider potential projects in anticipation of this call for expressions of interest.

The CRCNA board has identified critical research questions that if addressed will lower investment barriers and enable significant capital to flow to the development of Northern Australia.

The CRCNA will be investing $75m of Commonwealth funds over the next ten years to support industry-led research collaborations to develop important new technologies, products and services which address industry problems in northern Australia in the areas of:

  1. Agriculture and food
    Removing barriers and improving supply and value chains for new and existing Northern agricultural industries
  2. Tropical health service delivery
    Identifying new models and approaches, early detection, health seeking behavior and mental health.
  3. Traditional Owner led business development
    Identifying new models and approaches and building an industry ready skilled workforce in the fields of agriculture, food and/or health industries.

We are looking for game-changing ideas that will make a long-term improvement to the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries and communities in the North” she said.

To assist potential project participants the CRCNA board has posed a critical research question for each of the investment themes.

Agriculture and food
In the context of removing barriers and improving supply and value chains for new and existing Northern agricultural industries, what novel new approaches, solutions, technologies, innovations or knowledge processes does your research deliver to address the CRCNA research priorities for 2017/18?

Tropical health service delivery In the context of removing barriers and identifying new models and approaches to early detection, improved health seeking behaviour, mental health and mental health first aid, what novel new approaches, solutions, technologies, innovations or knowledge processes does your research deliver to address the CRCNA research priorities for 2017/18?

Traditional Owner led business development
In the context of removing barriers and identifying new models and approaches of developing Traditional Owner led business development and building an industry ready skilled workforce in agriculture, food and/or health, what novel new approaches, solutions, technologies, innovations or knowledge processes does your research deliver to address the CRCNA research priorities for 2017/18?

A fact sheet for potential project participants is available on the CRCNA website.

The expression of interest form will be available on the website from 2 October, 2017.

Expressions of interest must be received prior to 5pm (AEST), 31 October, 2017.

Media Contact: Jed Matz, Chief Executive Officer – 07 4401 5035

Economic Development Series – St George

The Balonne Shire Council with support from the Department of State Development Darling Downs and South West (DSD) and Regional Development Australia Darling Downs and South West Qld (RDA DDSW) present the second in the economic development series for South-West Queensland

The forum is aimed at a diverse range of industries including agriculture, transport and logistics, Local, State and Federal Government representatives, Remote Area Board members (RABs), Regional Development Australia representatives (RDAs), Economic Development Ofcers (EDOs) and those with a general interest in economic development and improving the liveability and sustainability for our communities throughout regional and remote Queensland.

All bookings must be made by Wednesday 27 September 2017.

Forum cost: $100.00 inc GST. Ticket price includes forum entry, forum meals, River Sands Winery dinner and transport to/from the airport, accommodation, forum dinner and forum venue.

Wednesday 4 October 

11.30am Registration
12.00pm Welcome Lunch Reception, Cr Richard Marsh – Mayor Balonne Shire Council
1.00pm Transport Infrastructure – Rail, Is It Still a Dream?
This session focuses on the increase in public and private investment in the rail network throughout regional Queensland, including an update on the $10 billion Inland Rail project and the opportunities for regional economies. Presenters and Panellists Michael Clancy – ARTC, Manager Business Development Bill Willis – Thallon Grains Neil Findlay – Queensland Transport and Logistics Council Brad Foster – GrainCorp, Regional Manager
3.00pm Afternoon Tea
3.30pm Emerging Industries
The world is changing rapidly and the traditional industries that have supported us and been the backbone of our state are strong but our economy is transitioning. Hear about our emerging industries that have global growth potential and will contribute to a diversied economy.Facilitator: John Bird – Dept. State Development, Regional Director DDSW. Presenters and Panellists Adrian Abbott – Createnergy, CEO Tony Uren – Toowoomba Regional Council, Manager Water & Waste Services Michael Bourke – Dept. of State Development, Director Biofutures Andrew Snars – Santos Regional Manager, Resource Sector Innovation.
5.00pm Day One Close
6.30pm Forum Dinner – River Sands Winery (Transport to and from venue provided. MC: Vic Pennisi, Chair RDA Darling Downs and South West
Enjoy outback hospitality at its best at the award-winning River Sands Winery. Guests will enjoy canapes and drinks on arrival followed by a two-course dinner, including a gourmet BBQ. Guests will be able to enjoy dinner in the vineyards and even sample some of the wines at the cellar door.
9.30pm Dinner Close

Thursday 5 October

7.30am Registration Tea and coffee available Breakfast and Welcome. Presentation: Chris Horsborough – Trade & Investment Queensland Qld Trade and Investment Strategy, 2017-2022
8.30am Opportunities for Growth Through Diversication. An Overview of the Murray Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversication Program, High Value Horticulture
With the growth in global populations driving demand for Australian agricultural products, farm diversication is becoming an important part of the landscape for Australian producers.
Australia is ideally placed to capitalise on this expanding global boom in food demand. Hear from local producers that have diversied production systems to meet global demand, providing better returns per mega-litre of irrigation water used and generating greater economic resilience for rural communities. Facilitator: Justin Heaven – Senior Industry Development Ofcer, DAF
Presenters and Panellists Roderick Glass – Systems Agriculture, Principal Consultant Ian Brimblecombe – Brookglen Farms, Managing Director David Moon – Moonrocks Farms, Managing Director Dick Estens – Grove Juice
10.00am Morning Tea
10.30am The Sheep Industry in South-West Queensland – New opportunities for a re-emerging industry. Rapid uptake of exclusion fencing and good prices for wool and sheep meat have led to renewed optimism within the SWQ sheep and wool industries. The speakers in this session will explore opportunities for the future success and growth of these industries in the region
Facilitator: Richard Routley – Regional Director, DAF. Presenters and Panellists Jon Grant – SW NRM, Project Manager Kym Thomas – Kahmoo Pastoral Company, Sheep Producer Georgina Carswell – SW RED, Project Ofcer Gerry Doumany – Trade & Investment Qld, Principal Trade and Investment Ofcer
12.00pm Closing Remarks, Acknowledgements and Actions

To Register, click here.

Free Business and Innovation Webinars

Giving Research & Ideas Direction (GRID) webinar – Patent Espionage for Getting a Headstart in the Market

Dr Nicola Maxwell from IP Solved will explain how patent analytics can support your business decisions, licensing and identifying markets, and market pathways.

Delivered by: Impact Innovation

When: Thursday 14 September 2017 11.30am to 12.30pm (AEST)

Duration: One hour

Location: Online

Register at:


Webinar: Cyber Security Operational Basics

This webinar covers some of the practical ways an SME can improve its cyber security.  You will find out about:

  • Highlighting the need for cyber security to involve good processes, knowledgeable and responsive staff and sound technology controls.
  • Easy and practical ways a business can address cyber security immediately.
  • Understanding the nature of cloud services and the unique cyber security considerations that come with using cloud services or engaging in other outsourcing arrangements.
  • Where to go for additional help and resources you can use.

Delivered by: Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

When: Friday 15 September 2017 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm (AEST)

Duration: One hour

Location: Online

Register at:


Giving Research & Ideas Direction (GRID) webinar – The 5 Best Reasons for Start-Ups to File a Patent

Dr Andrew Clarke and Dr Katherine Rock, co-founders of Innofy, will present five key reasons why SMEs and start-ups should consider filing patents for their technologies, and how this might align with your business goals and objectives.

Delivered by: Impact Innovation

When: Monday 18 September 2017 2.00 pm to 3.00 pm (AEST)

Duration: One hour

Location: Online

Register at:

Export ready Queensland food businesses can now apply for grants up to $100,000

Grants of up to $100,000 are now available for Queensland food producers looking to break into new overseas markets or boost their export earnings.

These grants are part of the $1.3 million, two year Growing Queensland’s Food Exports pilot program. The first round of funding opens today with concept proposals due no later than close of business Thursday 5 October 2017. Successful applicants will then be invited to submit a full application by 1 December 2017.


Grants are available to producers already involved in international export, or those who are export-ready and looking to access overseas markets.

Queensland is Australia’s largest producer of vegetables and the second largest producer of fruit and nuts, this pilot program is focused primarily, but not exclusively, on horticulture to enable Queensland producers to capitalise on this export potential.

The program will provide matched funding of up to $100,000 (minimum of $50,000) over two years per eligible project. Applicants must co-contribute at least 50 per cent of the total funds required.

Co-contributions can include up to half the value (25 per cent of total project costs) of in-kind contributions including freight costs, product and reasonable salary costs for key personnel.

There will be a second funding round in July 2018.

A DAF Program Manager is available to discuss proposals on a one-on-one basis, and producers who would like to know more can contact 13 25 23 or email For more information, visit

Social Procurement Challenge Now Open

Applications are now open for the Eidos Social Procurement Challenge. Self-nominated teams will have until Friday the 3rd of November 2017 to submit an idea. The winner will receive a $25,000 contribution towards turning their idea into reality.

The Challenge, in partnership with the English Family Foundation, is driven by a carefully developed question – How do we build the capacity to scale on the supply side of ‘Good Procurement’ in a flexible and collaborative way?

In June this year, Eidos and the English Family Foundation brought together twenty national leaders at the Brisbane Powerhouse who tackled and framed the challenge of growing the social enterprise sector, an issue of strong interest to the English Family Foundation. Essentially asking how can social enterprises in Australia be made more capable and able to achieve higher impact?

“The English Family Foundation has been particularly focused on the growth of social enterprise in Australia for the past few years. It is clear now that we must develop the capability of the sector to explore new approaches to scaling for impact. We partnered with Eidos as their framework is an innovative way for us to open this issue up to hear national voices.” Allan English, Executive Chairman, English Family Foundation.

The Challenge will culminate with a pitch competition which will be held in Brisbane on Thursday the 7th of December. This pitch competition will see the final five entrants pitching their ideas to a selection panel and a group of industry representatives including philanthropy, impact investors, incubators and regulators. The winner of the Social Procurement Challenge will receive a $25,000 contribution towards bringing their idea into a reality.

“The challenge is about boosting social enterprise in Australia. We are hoping we can generate a whole lot of diffused, disparate ideas, some of which can be backed and made a reality” – Narelle Kennedy, Eidos Institute Board of Directors.

For registrations or further information about the Challenge please use this link.

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