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World-first hub to develop bushfire emergency technology

9 April 2020

Joint media release with the Federal Member for Wide Bay, Llew O'Brien MP.

The Morrison Government is supporting a world-first program, based on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, to help commercialise technology to predict, prevent, fight and manage bushfire emergencies.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the Government is providing $100,000 to help fund ‘FireTech 2020’, a commercialisation program specifically designed to assist Australian technology start-ups to develop fire emergency solutions.

“The devastating summer of bushfires we’ve just been through has emphasised how important initiatives like this are in supporting the development of new, innovative technology that can help us better respond,” Minister Andrews said.

“As we grapple with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important we continue important work to make sure we’re prepared for the next bushfire season.

“After fire came to within 100 metres of the Digital Hub in Peregian Beach last year, these tech entrepreneurs are seizing the opportunity to find solutions for the future.

“I recently visited the hub with Federal Member for Wide Bay, Llew O’Brien, and we saw firsthand the innovative and collaborative approach the hub takes to solving challenges and supporting the next wave of entrepreneurs.

Mr O’Brien said the Morrison Government’s investment highlighted the strong innovation culture on the Sunshine Coast.

“Our local tech community and entrepreneurs are thinking outside the box and learning lessons from the fire activity we experienced in Peregian Beach last year,” Mr O’Brien said.

“But what’s really exciting is that the ideas developed here won’t just help us on the Sunshine Coast, it could make a life-saving difference across Australia and around the world.

“Start-ups will visit bushfire-affected areas during the eight-week fire technology program to be delivered late this year. They will meet with firefighting and prevention experts, and receive mentoring from commercialisation and subject matter experts to boost their readiness for launching solutions.

“This collaboration, innovation and use of technology will help keep communities safe from bushfires.”

The funding has been provided through the Incubator Support Initiative’s Expert in Residence (EIR) component, which is an element of the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme.

Since 2016, over $23.5 million in funding has been awarded under the Incubator Support initiative. For more information www.business.gov.au/ep.

Media contacts

Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070

Llew O'Brien's office 02 6277 2301