Tuesday, 22 May 2012 23:43

Microsoft launches Qld innovation centre

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Microsoft has launched a new innovation centre in Queensland which the company says will focus on accelerating the growth of small to medium enterprises, start-ups and student entrepreneurs by supporting Queensland-based software ecosystems.

Microsoft Australia’s State Director QLD, NT, and Pacific Islands, Microsoft Australia, Sharon Schoenborn, said the innovation centre would build on Microsoft’s BizSpark Program, with the Queensland centre becoming the hub of the BizSpark program, and was another milestone in Microsoft’s ongoing mission to support innovation in Australia.

Microsoft has said that up to 200 jobs will be created for Queensland companies during the three-year program.

“Microsoft is committed to promoting jobs, innovation and growth. The launch of the Queensland Microsoft Innovation Centre will help bridge some of the current gaps for start-ups in their journey to success by equipping and inspiring them to innovate. The centre will act as a hub of innovation for start-up’s, partners, developers and students to exchange ideas, build on each other’s strengths and translate those assets into greater business success.”

The Queensland innovation centre will be launched in partnership with Microsoft’s network of investment, accelerator and incubation partners in Queensland and Australia, including Lean Market Research, QUT Innovation Space, IdeaNetwork, River City Labs, Sales Monkey and Australian Capital Investment.

Commenting on Microsoft’s investment in the Queensland centre, Maree Adshead, Queensland Chair of the Australian Information Industries Association (AIIA) said "innovation in technology is what will drive Queensland’s success as a global competitor.”

“Young technology start-ups are the engine room of innovation and are critical to a healthy technology ecosystem.  As chair the QLD Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), and as co-founder of a young, award-winning tech start-up in Brisbane, I am particularly excited by the Queensland Microsoft Innovation Centre.  For too long, young Queensland innovation has been the ‘quiet achiever’.  This initiative will have a real and long-lasting impact.”

Schoenborn  said that, as well as creating 200 jobs, other goals of the Queensland Microsoft Innovation Centre include:

•       Growing the start-up sector, independent software vendors (ISV’s), entrepreneurs

•       Assisting in the establishment of 100 start-ups alongside our industry partners through the Innovation Centre over three years

•       Working alongside our Industry partners to provide the elements required to develop a successful start-up
 
•       Extending reach into regional QLD to assist in establishing start-ups and to leverage the National Broadband Network (NBN)

•       Supporting and equipping businesses that enable growth through commercial success or acquisition

•       Operating as a hub in Queensland to strengthen the networks in the Local software ecosystem, and
 
•       Positioning Queensland as a flagship state for innovation in productivity

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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