November 2018

It has been another busy month for the MTAiQ team as we continue to reach out and collaborate with various organisations, attend events that further explore and expand the opportunities for Queensland and Australian businesses and entrepreneurs, and hold demonstrations and presentations at the MTAiQ hub on new and developing technologies.

Amongst the events the team have attended this past month was the Corporate Innovation Workshop at QUT; a 3D printing event, also at QUT, that focused on intellectual property and innovation; a social enterprise network forum; and a presentation on the emerging trends for 2019.

A particularly interesting event in October was a meet and greet in Brisbane for the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund – a HK$1 billion fund that invests in companies with breakthrough businesses and technologies.

Alibaba is a Chinese multinational business specialising in e-commerce, retail, the internet and technology and their team discussed how the Entrepreneurs Fund works and explained its Jumpstarter program – an initiative that provides a platform for entrepreneurs and young people in Hong Kong. It is an event focused on ‘showcasing quality start-ups and providing high-impact networking opportunities’ and also is a pitch competition. Excitingly, the Jumpstarter program’s pitch competition is taking place in January and Australian companies are welcome to participate.

It is encouraging to see such prestigious and influential players in the innovation and start-up landscape recognise Australia and Queensland as having such potential.

At the beginning of this month, MTA Queensland was also present as a partner at the Something Digital festival in Brisbane.

Aimed to showcase ‘the great innovations, businesses and initiatives’ based in Queensland and Australia, the Something Digital event featured multiple keynote speakers, sessions on subjects including Blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, robotics, harnessing digital opportunities, and 5G communication tech, and involved all manner of businesses – from start-ups to traditional long-standing companies.

These types of events are critical for the continuing development of the digital and technological landscape in Queensland. They are not only an opportunity for like-minded people to network, partner and collaborate on projects, but are a sign of the incredible vibrancy of the innovation ecosystem in our state and of its maturing nature. Queensland, and Brisbane in particular, are recognised internationally as locations where innovation is truly a dynamic enterprise.

MTA Queensland and the MTAiQ innovation hub are right in the thick of things, and our aim of providing the best opportunities for the automotive industry to adapt to and embrace the digital disruptions that are here and on their way, means we will continue to engage and partner with individuals and organisation across the innovation landscape.

IN THE NEWS
On the subject of that landscape, it continues to change as research and development – and an understanding that Australia has to move with the times – gathers pace. In the past few weeks, an autonomous vehicle demonstration has taken place in Adelaide, proving the capabilities of vehicle-to-everything technology to avert a collision at a city intersection; $9.7million is being invested by the federal government in establishing an Office of Future Transport Technologies to help prepare for the pending arrival of automated vehicles and other transport innovations; and a $5 million program to encourage high quality graduate engineers to work in Australia’s automotive sector has been launched – designed to provide a steady flow of qualified, job-ready engineers into the Australian automotive sector. This is on top of news from September that Holden will employ 150 engineers to work on global advanced vehicle development. Each month, announcements are made of new investments in projects across Australia. It’s very encouraging!

OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND AS TECH EVOLVES
You will have read in previous editions of Motor Trader about Refueler – a technology, in the form of a smartphone app, that enables consumers to pre-purchase fuel online from a participating service station of their choosing when it is at the low end of the price cycle, and which also helps service stations, particularly independents, to be a part of the digital environment, reach a vast
number of customers, and increase foot traffic and loyalty to their business.

The Refueler team recently scored a brilliant second place on the world stage at the Startup World Cup hosted by Fenox Venture Capital at the World Blockchain Summit in Dubai. The team were up against 14 other start-up businesses from around the world and the result proves the Refueler app is a truly fantastic concept. Congratulations to the Refueler team!
I mention this achievement not only because it deserves to be applauded but because it highlights just how well the Refueler idea has been received and the opportunities that many acknowledge it offers to the consumer and to business.

Part of what we do at MTAiQ is expose MTA Queensland members to these opportunities and I urge you to keep an eye on the association’s Facebook page, our website, and the weekly industry bulletins that are emailed to you, for details on upcoming events being held at which we will demonstrate exciting new concepts and products.

FINALLY
Over the past few months, it has become clear there are amazingly talented people out there with tremendous ideas about how technology can be harnessed to improve their business or our industry.

For those of you who think they have just such an idea, MTAiQ is here to help! You just have to contact us! As Englishman William Pollard once remarked: “Without change there is no innovation, creativity or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.”

We look forward to hearing from you. Until next month.