Thursday, May 19, 2022

Collaborating for local growth

Imagine a place you could go with an idea for a new product where you could develop prototypes, undertake trials, get consumer feedback, receive training, and commercialise and grow your business to an export level, while working alongside other food and beverage businesses, educators and researchers in a supportive and collaborative ecosystem.

Enter the Turbine Precinct at Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Airport. Due to begin operations in late 2023, the Turbine Precinct is promoted as Australia’s first industry-led, high-tech manufacturing ecosystem, purpose built to enable food and beverage SMEs to collaborate, scale up, move towards higher value-added activities, and become more competitive.

“Turbine is a new, smarter way of doing business – collaboratively,” says Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) CEO Emma Greenhatch.

“It’s most often the passionate, creative entrepreneurs and small businesses owners responding to consumer needs that bring the best and brightest new products to market.

“However, the majority are resource-limited and struggle to access product development capability and a pathway to translate their great ideas into commercial products,” says Ms Greenhatch.

The Turbine Precinct recently secured $33.4 million in federal funding (adding to $8.78 million in 2021). When complete, the Turbine Precinct will house manufacturing services, a research and development facility, warehousing and logistics, an expertise hub and an industry-specific training facility. All of this combined provides a unique pathway for SMEs to translate the next big idea from the lab through to commercialisation, national distribution and export.

“The Precinct will provide a catalytic and enduring impact for the food and beverage sector on a scale that hasn’t previously existed in Australia,” says Ms Greenhatch.

Read more about the Turbine Precinct in the April issue of Retail World.

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