The Queensland Artificial Intelligence Hub (AI) has jointly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Rockhampton Regional Council, joining forces to strengthen AI technology uptake across the region.

Under the agreement, Rockhampton Regional Council’s Advance Rockhampton team and Queensland AI Hub will continue to exchange information and expertise to achieve better outcomes for industry and business in the Rockhampton region.

The MoU will help facilitate industry engagement, consultation and enhance opportunities for collaboration for AI capability development in the region. It will also provide greater learning and development opportunities for local businesses looking to innovate and understand the opportunities available.

Rockhampton Region Mayor Tony Williams, said AI technology will play a key role in the region’s future growth.

“Council is keen to see the continued adoption of AI across the region to continue to grow our vibrant region and secure the jobs of the future locally,” Mayor Williams said.

“Collaboration between industry and Council is imperative to drive innovation, AI technology will impact all businesses, and whilst change can be challenging, it also presents an opportunity for local businesses to find new and better ways to grow.”

AI adoption and capability development improves productivity, supports job generation and stimulates economic growth in regional Australia. 

By 2030, AI is estimated to be worth $22.17 trillion to the global economy and is one technology that is truly globally accessible with relevance to current and emerging industries.

Advance Rockhampton Executive Manager, Greg Bowden, said local businesses will need to continue to adapt and innovate to keep up with the constantly changing world and build resilience into their business.

“Advance Rockhampton teaming up with key players in the business innovation and AI space will show how emerging technologies can help Rockhampton businesses thrive,” Mr Bowden said.

“Innovation and collaboration across local businesses and industry groups will be key to ensuring the region prospers not only for the short term but for many years to come.”

One home grown example of business innovation is local company InfoFish Australia. InfoFish is a family business established in Rockhampton with long involvement in fisheries research using AI. 

Queensland AI Hub CEO, Dr Sue Keay, said Rockhampton will be a key beneficiary of AI technologies given the region’s strengths in agriculture, defence, infrastructure, resources, tourism and healthcare, areas where Australia is developing plenty of AI technologies.

“Rockhampton’s diverse economy is well-suited to many homegrown AI applications and the development of companies like InfoFish shows that global AI businesses can emerge from solving local problems,” Dr Keay said.

“The Queensland AI Hub is keen to support innovative regions like Rockhampton to grow their AI capability to find solutions to problems, to make businesses more profitable and sustainable and to generate local jobs and stimulate the economy.”

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