Redland City Council is embracing innovation on its journey to becoming a smart city, after successfully delivering the Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP) for the Redland-Logan region.
Council and key partners Logan City Council and Griffith University delivered the three-year program of innovation and entrepreneurship activities after securing funding through the State Government’s Advance Queensland initiative.
Mayor Karen Williams said innovation, with smart cities and digital connectivity as a strategic priority, was at the heart of Redland City Council’s service delivery.
“By embracing new partnerships and technology we can transform the way we deliver services and will be better positioned to adapt and improve how we respond to changes and challenges,” she said.
“This three-year collaboration with our ARIP partners ensures our local innovators are well placed to grow their ideas and their business networks.”
Cr Williams said local ARIP stakeholders embraced innovation as key to economic and jobs growth and improved quality and reach of services.
“There was an education roundtable network of forward-focussed leading schools, TAFE and universities, and focussed youth and ageing summits.
“Council also worked closely with schools, universities and government agencies on emerging sectors, with local businesses and new investors being attracted to Redlands Coast as a place to innovate.
“Groups such as Start Up Redlands and Redlands Angel Investors worked with local start-ups to build knowledge and capabilities within a supportive business environment.
“Council also collaborated with Redlands Coast Chamber of Commerce to deliver an innovation workshop series, and events programmed with the State Government Entrepreneur allowed businesses to directly engage through forums and masterclass sessions.”
Cr Williams said COVID-19 had a significant impact on the way the final year of the program was delivered.
“In 2020 the program was refocussed to support businesses to survive the economic impact of the pandemic and better position themselves for recovery.
“Council developed and delivered a targeted community and business grants program which included an innovation stream.
“This encouraged small to medium businesses to innovate either through the application of new technology or new product and supply changes, for example manufacturing PPE and hand sanitiser or offering online courses.”
Cr Williams said Council was building on the ARIP model by embedding its principles into community and economic development programs and internal strategic networks.
“Council is continuing to deliver targeted business support programs through collaboration with government, industry and businesses including the city’s chambers of commerce and the Federal Government’s Regional Development Australia Logan and Redlands committee.
“Council also continues to facilitate industry clusters and deliver innovation forums for the city’s key industry sectors, and to progress research and development collaborations with government and universities to open up new investment opportunities in emerging sectors.
“Council is also finalising a Redlands Coast Smart and Connected City Strategy which aims to create better city services and a higher quality of life so residents and businesses can thrive.
“The strategy will identify opportunities for innovation and technologies to enhance the city’s liveability and promote community wellbeing, and to accelerate growth and stimulate economic opportunities.
“It will also focus on improving environmental sustainability through data-driven decision making, and will ensure a whole-of-Council approach to smart city planning.”
The $1 million Redland-Logan ARIP was funded with $500,000 from the State Government over three years, matched by the ARIP partners.
For more information on the Redland-Logan Region ARIP, visit Council’s website.