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  • Tropical North business community gets innovative boost

    Innovation is more than just Silicon Valley, smartphone apps and artificial intelligence.

    Here in Tropical North Queensland, the scope is much broader than the traditional tech-focused view of what innovation in business can be.

    That's the helicopter view of local investor, management consultant, mentor and business owner John Mlikota, who has just been appointed the inaugural chair of Ignite FNQ.

    The non-profit organisation is a State Government-backed initiative aimed at connecting existing service providers and organisations to provide businesses with "tools, support services and training" to build capacity and capability.

    The ultimate aim is to foster jobs growth, a mission Mr Mlikota is excited to take on.

    Mr Mlikota is joined on the Ignite board by Julie-ann Lambourne, Professor Allan Dale, John Brisbin, and Troy Haines, while Lara Wilde has been appointed Regional Innovation Coordinator.

    The organisation will work with existing operators and service providers to build the Cairns and Tropical North region into a hub of innovative activity that attracts new businesses and ideas and retains existing talent.

    "For a significant part of my career innovation is a space I’ve personally invested, advised and mentored in, so this new role with Ignite is something very close to my heart," Mr Mlikota said.

    "For innovation to succeed you’ve got to lay the foundations and building blocks and that's what Ignite is all about in partnership with others working on this purpose.

    "It doesn’t happen overnight, and this program can deliver on that promise and potential over the next three years.

    "A concept like Silicon Valley is only one aspect of innovation. There are many more opportunities beyond that for our region.

    "We want to build on what’s already here and harness what we have to help develop new skills and partnerships and deliver on the purpose of building an innovation ecosystem."

    For more information about Ignite FNQ, visit the website here.