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Beyond carbon : a case study of Cleantech and innovation for sustainable regional development in Central Queensland
conference contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Susan KinnearSusan Kinnear, Ian OgdenIan Ogden
The challenges confronting regional Australia include drivers such as climate change, uneven population growth, natural resource management and land use conflicts, liveability concerns and regionalization agendas. There is a need to explore ventures that simultaneously address these pressures if regional areas are to flourish and contribute to national targets in social, environmental and economic areas. One way to achieve this is to exploit the natural advantage that regional areas may have for innovation. ‘Cleantech’ refers to a range of technologies and processes that focus on improved efficiency, reduced environmental impacts and better profitability: cleantech is emerging as an innovative way to tackle sustainable regional development challenges. Central Queensland (CQ) is a region that is well-suited for the development of cleantech: it has high cleantech demand; a suite of useful natural assets; advantageous infrastructure and waste products; existing professional skill and trade sets in relevant industries; a diverse economy and economic incentives to operate in cleantech; a cooperative and engaged regional University; supportive local Government and a core of businesses already dealing in cleantech. Most importantly, there is substantive human capital in the area. This paper explores how innovation activity could be encouraged by engaging SMEs and other regional stakeholders to establish a Cleantech CQ hub. This hub could drive regional development and competitiveness, help resolve a range of regional environmental pressures and move the CQ region ‘Beyond Carbon’.