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Sunshine Coast to host major regional trade and investment conference encouraging companies to ‘cluster’ to maximise growth

The Sunshine Coast will host a major conference aimed at growing regional trade and investment in Australia.

Over 100 delegates are expected to attend The Competitive Institute (TCI) Oceania Chapter 2018 at the Surfair Conference & Events Centre in Marcoola from 5 – 8 June.

The conference will look at how regional clusters can help drive economic development, with the Sunshine Coast’s Food & Agribusiness Network (FAN) a prime example of the benefits derived from industry sectors working collaboratively. FAN will share their local experience and insights with visiting delegates.

TCI is a leading global network of organisations and practitioners with deep expertise in clusters and competitiveness, who collaborate in a unique open, flexible and practical context to advance competitiveness, innovation and cluster development. TCI connects with development agencies, government departments, cluster organisations, academic institutions, companies and multilateral organizations in over 110 countries.

Chair of TCI, Tracy Scott-Rimington said the Conference will have a number of international and Australian speakers and a leading Government representative is expected to address the conference.

“Many of the world’s most competitive regions have alignment between national, state and regional economic development objectives so that national strengths are supported by a strong network of regional clusters, removing the isolation of businesses and regions, and building a culture of collaboration to drive innovation and competitiveness,” said Ms Scott-Rimington.

“Cluster experts from Denmark, Scotland, France and New Zealand will share their experiences of cluster development and the promotion of regional ‘smart specialisations’ for growth. The ability of delegates to visit some of the Sunshine Coast’s emerging innovation clusters was a key factor in bringing this event to the region as well as the commitment to cluster development from local government.”

Sunshine Coast Council, in partnership with Business Events Sunshine Coast, played a major role in securing the conference through the Business Events Assistance Program.

Tourism, Sports and Major Events Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray welcomed the staging of the conference on the Sunshine Coast and urged local Sunshine Coast businesses to attend.

“Hosting this conference on the Sunshine Coast is another successful outcome of our Business Events Assistance Program,” said Councillor O’Pray.

“It’s also a great opportunity to promote the success of our local Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) and its contribution to our Regional Economic Development Strategy.

“FAN, with the support of Sunshine Coast Council, has had some great success in building local connections and developing the local to international pathway of locally produced goods and services, working with local companies such as COYO, Gourmet Garden and Walker Seafoods.

“The food and agribusiness industry on the Sunshine Coast continues to grow and is now worth around $700 million and features more than 900 companies, including some of Australia’s leading food innovators and exporters.

“The conference will also feature the outcome of Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) major cluster funding round and we also wish FAN every success with their bid.”

Welcoming the Conference to the Sunshine Coast, VSC CEO, Simon Latchford, said the Sunshine Coast has been highly successful in growing its tourism through a collaborative approach with local tourism organisations and operators and helped the region compete effectively against larger international and domestic competitors.

“What makes the Sunshine Coast such an attractive destination is its diversity of attractions, but this also requires considerable nurturing of the different groups to work together to market the region as a complete entity – a sum of outstanding parts,” said Mr Latchford.

“Our Business Events Sunshine Coast team will work with the organisers to ensure this is a highly productive and memorable event.”

Sunshine Coast businesses interested in attending can book and get further information from:

Further information about the conference:
Tracy Scott-Rimington

Chair, TCI Oceania Chapter

Mob: +61 433346344; [email protected]

Sunshine Coast Council

Nicole McNaughton:

Mob: 0409 701514; [email protected]



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