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Advancing Regional Innovation Program

Encourages innovation across Queensland and supports local economies to create jobs for regional Queenslanders.

What's important

  • Twelve Queensland regions have access to a dedicated fund of $500,000 each.
  • Applications must be collaborative and involve a lead applicant with at least five partners.
  • Applications consist of a collaborative action plan that outlines a tailored program of activities that respond to the local needs and the stage of development in the region.
  • Eligible activities include creation of innovation spaces, delivery of learning and capability development programs, mentoring and networking programs  to connect entrepreneurs with each other and with industry and to coordinate local efforts.
  • The collaboration action plan has to show that services are being provided not only in one main location in the region, but at least two other locations across the region.


Advancing Regional Innovation Program ($6 million):

  • Twelve regional innovation regions (PDF, 1.97MB) have been established, each with up to $500,000 over three years available.
  • 20% of funding in each region must be directed to outreach activities across the region to foster innovation across a broader geographic and demographic audience.
  • The provision of funding will be on a matched 1:1 basis (cash and in-kind).

Regional Network Fund ($1.5 million):

  • $1.5 million over three years to be used across the network of funded Advancing Regional Innovation Programs.
  • The Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, in consultation with regional stakeholders, will determine a range of tools that can be used across the state and support connectivity between regions including inbound and outbound activities.


Applications were assessed by an independent assessment panel against the following criteria:

  • Collaboration 40%

    • Demonstrates collaboration between a diverse range of partners to build critical mass in your innovation ecosystem.
  • Impact 20%

    • Provides evidence that the project will develop the innovation ecosystem in the designated region and shows how the proposed activities will deliver success.
  • Capability 20%

    • Provides an effective operating model for delivery of services with key personnel experience and expertise.
  • Value for money 20%

    • Identifies effective delivery of activities and self-sustainability beyond the funding timeframes.

Funding recipients

Twelve regions are receiving Advancing Regional Innovation Program funding.

About the program

Advance Queensland's Advancing Regional Innovation Program aims to turn our regions into hubs for innovation and enterprise. It will enable local entrepreneurs, business leaders and key industries to collaborate closely and with government to harness innovation and unlock business potential, strengthen existing industries and prepare regional Queenslanders for jobs of the future.

The program enables a tailored approach to connecting local efforts, harnessing existing strengths and building regional capability. The intention is to build networks of innovative communities across the state that reflect the diversity of Queensland's regions, draw people together and boost grassroots activities.

Development of the program (formerly known as the Advance Queensland Regional Innovation Hubs Program) was supported by research on the features of successful innovation ecosystems. We partnered with strategy and design company Business Models Inc. and identified five key features for successful ecosystems.

For further information and assistance contact the Department on 07 3719 7845 or email

In November 2016, the Department held a webinar to assist potential applicants in the pre-registration process. Information from this session is available below:

You can still read the discussion paper

Read the discussion paper (PDF, 544KB)

Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0)
Last updated
5 October, 2017

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