Last edition we presented you with an introduction to the GS3 approach, explored the benefits of its application to our region and gained insight into a couple of the projects underway. Since then, many of the projects have kicked into another gear.
The food and fibre stream of GS3 has begun the year on a positive note by welcoming a new member to the team, Elena Nauta. Elena will be undertaking research on potential projects related to seaweed for human consumption and new protein farming. Other key focus areas include advanced vegetable processing, circular economy trading and the continued development of the Gippsland Trusted Provenance Trademark, all of which you can read about on p. 4 of this edition. Each of the aforementioned opportunities has been identified as a potential new industry within the region due to its ability to drive economic competitive advantage, community resilience and wellbeing..
Speaking of opportunities, Destination Gippsland and the visitor economy cohort are principally focussing on the potential of ‘tracks and trails’ in the region. They’re exploring prospects associated with trail design, researching construct and maintenance companies — whereby the profits of this enterprise go back into the ongoing maintenance — as well as the development and promotion of the trail network. This edition of our lift-out takes a deeper dive into the possible showcase trail for Gippsland — The Gippsland Lakes Aquatic Trail.
A further innovation being explored is in the theme of technology fusion, and exploring opportunities to enhance a visitor experience via curated itineraries, while using a combination of web and app based technologies that include rich experiential elements, such as audio, video, QR codes and augmented reality alongside maps to explore our region.
The Morwell Innovation Centre (MIC) has officially opened and will hold a launch event on March 22 to showcase what the centre has on offer. The MIC is managed by Federation University and includes a 100-seat conference facility, commercial tenancies and an innovation hub; which will enable collaboration between key industry experts, education, government and the community to find innovation solutions to local issues to support economic growth.
Alinta Energy is one of the new tenants and will be relocating their customer service operations from offshore to the MIC.
The MIC will also be running several innovation programs and events throughout the year to build capability and skills in the area of innovation. The centre will also host Federation University’s Gippsland Master of Business Administration program. The MIC is a significant player in the Hi Tech Precinct located in Morwell, which is also the home of the Gippsland Tech School and TAFE Gippsland.
Moving to energy, the collective of individuals, community groups and organisations that formed Totally Renewable Phillip Island (TRPI — affectionately known as ‘Trippy’) have created six working groups and a core group to facilitate planning, action and communications. The working groups focus on Carbon Accounting, Carbon Farming, Education & Communications, Food & Waste, Renewable Energy, and Zero Emissions Transport. A partnership with the Energy Innovation Co-op and GS3 has commissioned a pre-feasibility study on how they could achieve their goals of having 100% renewable energy and being carbon neutral by 2030.
After interviewing nineteen leaders from business, research and education, community and government, and conducting further research in early 2020, the first release of this information was presented in the Regional Innovation System Mapping in the Health and Wellbeing Sector Report. This document plays a crucial first step in understanding the health and wellbeing sector in Gippsland.