Innovation summits to drive economic growth

A series of summits will be held in the Redlands to investigate a local innovation hub and how innovative businesses can create local employment and training opportunities.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the first summit would target local youth as recommended in a report from the Redland City Economic Development Advisory Board tabled in today’s General Meeting.

“This will be the beginning of a conversation about how we as a city can be more innovative and grow our economic opportunities through it,” she said.

“Redland City has some very talented and innovative people and these summits will be a chance to hear from them and harness their expertise in this area.

“One opportunity that will be explored through this summit will be establishing an innovation hub in the Redlands, a place where local innovators and businesses can meet and grow their ideas.

“We want to not only engage our current innovators but also our future business leaders, which is why the first summit will specifically target local youth.

“Currently our biggest export is our young people who have to leave the city for opportunity and I am committed to halting this trend by building economic opportunities locally.

Cr Williams said the youth summit would be run by local youth, with buy-in from local business and industry.

“This summit won’t be a Council event, it will be run by local youth because they are the ones who will benefit from growth in innovation and they are the ones already doing amazing things in this space,” she said.

“The summit will feature the Redlands best and brightest young innovators including Economic Development Advisory Board member Jordan Duffy, which no doubt will be exciting in itself considering what he has achieved in the innovation space as a young entrepreneur.”

Jordan said he was looking forward to hearing from local youth about innovation opportunities in the city.

“The Redlands has some very energetic and driven young people and this summit will be an opportunity to hear their ideas and how as a community we can turn those ideas into reality,” he said.

“This summit will be the start of the conversation, one that can then continue with help from the Redland City Economic Development Advisory Board which provides advice and recommendations on the economic direction of the city.”

Cr Williams said today’s Council decision also included a city-wide branding exercise to help the city attract visitors and business.

“The Redlands rivals any South East Queensland city for natural beauty and tourism attractions, but the Economic Development Advisory Board has recognised that as a city we lack a clear identity,” she said.

“A unique and targeted brand developed with help from local business and industry will deliver economic growth and create awareness with tourists as well as building on our local city pride.”

Both the innovation summit and city branding are expected to be delivered early next year.