April 2019

As you would have read in our cover story this month, our focus in recent weeks has been on MTA Queensland’s Carmageddon symposium, held on March 21.

This was the third time the symposium has been held and it has grown to become an important event on the calendar of those involved with, and interested in, the automotive innovation landscape.

While I won’t cover the event in this column (for a wrap-up of Carmageddon, read the cover story in this edition of Motor Trader), I will say that the discussions that took place, the presentations that were made, and the spectacular range of high-tech electric vehicles being exhibited, brought into sharp relief how far the automotive industry has come, and how deep and far-reaching its continuing evolution will be.


Amongst the many meetings and network events that MTAiQ representatives attended in March was a contributor meeting regarding the exciting Startup World Cup competition.
The Startup World Cup is a series of conferences and competitions, held around the world, that bring together startups, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and technology company CEOs.
11 regional startup competitions are held (an Australian regional event will be held this month) with the top startups from each regional event to compete in a grand finale for a $US1million investment and, of course, the chance to network with some of the world’s top technology movers and shakers. It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity for startup businesses.

The MTAiQ team also attended the opening of CSIRO’s Data61 Robotics Innovation Centre.

CSIRO Data61 is the digital innovation arm of Australia’s national science agency and the Robotics Innovation Centre is a purpose-built research facility for robotics and autonomous systems.

CSIRO’s Data61 is one of the global leaders in the field, with capabilities extending to unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned ground vehicles.

“The Robotics Innovation Centre combines internationally recognised robotics and machine learning research with deep domain expertise from CSIRO providing unique collaboration opportunities for industry, government and academia,” said Adrian Turner, CEO at CSIRO’s Data61. “Robotics and autonomous systems technologies, underpinned by machine learning and artificial intelligence, will unlock new value in all manner of sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare and mining.”

MTAiQ‘s team were privileged to attend the opening, particularly as those technologies link to MTA Queensland members in the agricultural division.

Other events that the team have attended include the ‘Thought Leadership Series in Brisbane: Planning for Sustainability’, that focused on how companies can embrace sustainability as a strategic imperative rather than an operational choice; and the Optus AR/VR Immersion Day, at which Lex Van Cooten, CEO of MTAiQ Hub member Immerse Enterprise, with the help of MTAiQ Community Manager Nathan Nguyen, demonstrated the latest immersive technology to the Optus Queensland Business Unit to investigate the potential of 5G and immersive technology as an enterprise solution for Optus partners and customers.

MTAiQ representatives were also in attendance at Brisbane’s ‘Biggest Founder Network Event by QUT bluebox’ – which brought together founders and startups from across various industries. Networking events such as these are crucial to the collaborations that fuel innovation and the ideas and concepts of the future.

Finally, and hot on the heels of Carmageddon, was the ‘Future Cities: Transport infrastructure for Tomorrow’ seminar. Participating in this event was MTA Institute Director Professor Michael Milford, and the seminar addressed the key challenge facing policymakers of understanding how smart infrastructure will help address resource constraints and enhance connectivity, liveability, productivity and resilience.


Whenever I get the chance, I like to remind people that the MTAiQ Innovation Hub is here to assist in developing the ideas and concepts that will help shape the future of the automotive industry.

That future will be radically different to the one we know, that much is guaranteed, and in a future of connected vehicles, electric vehicles and vehicles of ever-increasing autonomous capabilities, the opportunities are legion for those with a spark of an idea that can take advantage of the changing landscape. If you can imagine it, we might be able to help bring that idea to life.

To quote motivational speaker and writer Denis Waitley, “You have all the reason in the world to achieve your grandest dreams. Imagination plus innovation equals realisation.”

So, if you have an idea, let’s hear it!

Until next time.

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MTAiQ acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which we live and work - the Yugambeh and Yuggera people. We pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging. In the spirit of reconciliation, we will continue to work with traditional custodians to support the health and wellbeing of community.