Tech and innovation centre to open in Rockhampton

Support for manufacturing in Central Queensland will receive a $2.8 million boost, with the establishment of a joint tech and innovation centre for Rockhampton.

A partnership between Central Queensland University (CQU) and the Queensland government, the centre will provide services for the manufacturing sector, as well as the mining and agricultural industries, as Member for Rockhampton, Barry O’Rouke spotlighted.

“These industries are vital to Queensland’s economy. New technology is changing the demands on workers – this new facility will make sure that our kids and grandkids have the skills they need to get great careers in these fields,” he said.

Innovation Minister, Kate Jones, highlighted the equipment that the funding would purchase.

“Funding announced today will be used to buy training equipment – like robots, drills and dozers to train students up on the cutting-edge technology they’ll be using out on the job,” she said.

“Mining, agriculture and manufacturing will be vitally important to Rockhampton for decades to come. This is a down payment for the future.”

The services provided at the centre will be available for local industry to upskill and seek new opportunities, said CQU vice-chancellor and president, Nick Klomp.

“This funding commitment will allow CQUniversity to respond to the needs of industry with the provision of state-of-the-art teaching and training technologies with a specific focus on AgTech, manufacturing innovation, engineering, ICT and design,” said Klomp.

“These types of opportunities not only support the advancement of innovative entrepreneurial practice and commercialisation opportunities but also job-creation within our communities.”

Extending the role of manufacturing in the Queensland economy will be the Advance Queensland strategy, which the government released on Monday, October 28. The strategy, which builds on the Made in Queensland program and the Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan will grow the $20 billion which manufacturing contributes to the state economy, and the 170,000 people employed by the sector.