Innovation Minister Kate Jones is leading a Queensland trade mission to the United States to grow the state's biotech industry.
More than 100 Queensland business and research leaders are attending BIO2019 in Philadelphia including Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey, Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett, Moreton Bay Mayor Allan Sutherland and Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson.
Mayor Dempsey said he was invited to join the delegation by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Biotechnology Innovation Organization is hosting the convention. Its 1100 members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.
Mayor Dempsey said the event was an outstanding arena to promote the Bundaberg Region's innovative culture and opportunities in agriculture-related biotechnology in partnership with the Queensland Government.
He said bioenergy is an exciting concept with great potential to use waste from the region’s agricultural industries.
“There is an opportunity to support and develop local businesses, in particular Bundaberg's own Superior Pak which converts internal combustion engine rubbish trucks to electric waste recovery trucks,” he said.
“The benefits include value adding and creating a new industry which will boost employment and economic activity.”
Mayor Dempsey said Pennsylvania is a major food processing state and he would also seek out opportunities for Bundaberg Region produce to be exported including macadamias and sweet potatoes.
Biotech trade mission pitches to investors
Ms Jones said BIO2019 is where the world’s leading biotech investors come to see the next big thing or what has real potential in terms of returns and the biotech trade mission is promoting the state.
“Life sciences play an important role in diversifying Queensland’s economy and ensuring Queensland workers have access to the new jobs of the future,” she said.
“In Queensland, the industry is underpinned by strong research capability. Our scientists are working on everything from therapeutic, diagnostic and vaccine development to adult stem cell technology, ag-biotech, industrial biotech and tropical health research.
“Showcasing this great pool of talent at Bio is all about creating new export opportunities for Queensland businesses.”
Philadelphia is one of the United States’ top life science hubs, employing more than 50,000 people working in research and development, manufacturing, and medical, diagnostic and testing labs.
Ms Jones said life science is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries with a recent Deloitte report projecting global health care spending alone to reach US$10 trillion by 2022.