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Bio-economies explored through workshop

design sprint event
Manager, Ventures Discovery and Entrepreneurship at UQ Tomas Piccinini led the design sprint event.

The University of Queensland teamed up with Bundaberg Regional Council last week to deliver the UQ Ventures Design Sprint event, exploring different biomass waste usage opportunities and challenges in the region.

As part of the 2023 UQ Regional Roadshows, the workshop was held on Friday 21 April and aimed to unlock the bio-economies potential in Bundaberg.

The design sprint attendees used the outcomes of the exploration to co-design potential biomass waste solutions and map out possible pathways to test and prototype.

Manager, Ventures Discovery and Entrepreneurship at UQ Tomas Piccinini led the event and said it had been a great opportunity for different industries to come together.

“The Design Sprint used Design Thinking and Agile methodologies to co-create and co-design possible pathways to unlocking Bundaberg’s region bio-economies,” he said.

“The topic of the event was decided jointly with the Bundaberg City Council, where the council was instrumental in setting the event up and helping us understand how we can better add value to Bundaberg.

“UQ Ventures helped facilitate and run the session to bring multiple different stakeholders together and guide the explorations. We believe in local knowledge and expertise, so we were really there to amplify their voices.”

Tomas said the trip was part of The Queensland Commitment, UQ’s aspiration to make education and opportunity available to all Queenslanders.

“Attendees were able to learn about Design Thinking and Human Centred Design by practicing the methodologies with the challenges they themselves experience when trying to create bioeconomy projects,” he said.

“We discussed the changes in mind set that this type of thinking entails and the importance of empathy and depth of understanding of the people and its problems before jumping to ideas and solutions.”

Bundaberg Regional Council‘s Manager Strategic Projects and Economic Development Ben Artup said the topic of bio-economy was an important one in the Bundaberg Region.

“The definition of bio-economy is how we as a society produce more food, fuel and products, for more people, using less carbon,” he said.

“Building on our annual Bundaberg Bioeconomy Conference we partnered with UQ on the design think workshop.

“Industry, academia and local and state government worked to understand how the region can come up with new ideas to grow our bio-economy.

“In example we learnt how some of our industry need to get there bio-product projects funded and changes in perception by financiers about the risks of new low-carbon products.” 

The UQ Ventures Design Sprint event was attended by a number of stakeholders from government, established businesses and startups at the Bundaberg Multiplex on Friday 21 April.

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