(From left) Ed Sims (Maranoa Regional Council); Camille Johnson (Roma Commerce and Tourism); Deb Joppich (Maranoa Regional Council); Katrina Marsh (Santos); Sherrill Stivano (Maranoa Innovation Network - Project Manager); Jody Dare (Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning)
(From left) Ed Sims (Maranoa Regional Council); Camille Johnson (Roma Commerce and Tourism); Deb Joppich (Maranoa Regional Council); Katrina Marsh (Santos); Sherrill Stivano (Maranoa Innovation Network - Project Manager); Jody Dare (Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning)

New Maranoa business collaboration network set up

A brand new business network is set to launch this year to bring Maranoa’s businesses closer together and support professional development in a collaborative environment.

The Maranoa Innovation Network, to be launched in early March, will be an incubator for local businesses, offering collaboration, mentoring, education, technical support, and investment opportunities.

Ongoing regular workshops following the launch will continue through 2021.

The Network is the brainchild of Maranoa region’s Business Excellence Program.

Roma Commerce and Tourism president and spokesman for the Business Excellence Program Charlie Eames said the Maranoa Innovation Network plans to connect with people and businesses from all towns in the region to encourage economic growth and development.

“We’re thrilled to announce this pilot initiative, which is supported through the Business Excellence Program initiative - a collaboration between Maranoa Regional Council, Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise, Advance Queensland through the Advancing Regional Innovation Program, Department of State Development Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Roma Commerce and Tourism and Santos,” Mr Eames said.

“This network will be community-led, to tap into our wealth of local knowledge to help resolve local issues and to serve our local interests and industries’ needs and we’re encouraging all existing and potential businesses from the region to come along to the launch.”

Santos regional manager Andrew Snars said Santos was proud to support the BEP to encourage economic growth in the Maranoa.

“We are excited to be part of the new Maranoa Innovation Program as it will encourage growth, development, and a sustainable future for our region,” Mr Snars said.

“Coming out of the challenges of COVID-19, the program will help create jobs, drive regional economies and encourage local investment.

Maranoa Innovation Network project manager Sherrill Stivano said Maranoa region businesses are invited to apply to participate in the network.

“Given the word “innovation” means ‘the action or process of innovating, a new method, idea or product’, our aim is to apply this to the products or services that are new or innovative to the Maranoa region and apply this to those businesses participating in the Maranoa Innovation

Network,” Mrs Stivano said.

“We’re looking for people or businesses from the region who are engaging in new or innovative business projects to get involved.

“We are also gathering a panel of mentors to offer expert advice and critical thinking around each participant’s specific needs.

“These mentors will support and guide our participants to establish, expand or progress their business project.”

People and businesses from the Maranoa Region can attend the Maranoa Innovation

Network’s launch at 5pm on Thursday, March 4 at the Royal on 99.

The launch will feature Wotif co-founder Andrew Brice as keynote speaker.

While the event is free, registration will be required for catering and COVID purposes and numbers are limited.

Registrations will be open Wednesday, February 17 through Queensland Tickets.

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