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Brisbane stumps up cash to find conference ‘trailblazers’

Brisbane’s brightest minds are being offered grants to help them bring international meetings to the Australian city.

The Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant will give young business leaders and academics a share of A$30,000 to attend conferences specific to their field of expertise and then help Brisbane bid to host the conference in future.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said: “The Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant program is a win-win for our city’s economy and the talented people who are blazing a trail across a range of sector.

“We want local trailblazers to benefit from attending an international conference where they can build valuable global networks, broaden their knowledge and skills and gain recognition of their work in Brisbane.

“At the same time, the recipients will work with the city’s economic development board Brisbane Marketing and partners to bid for the conferences to be held in Brisbane.

“Business events are big business for Brisbane, generating an average $250 million for the economy every year, bringing together word-leading experts and providing opportunities for research partnerships, investment and collaboration.”

Former recipients, University of Queensland scientists Dr Christina Schroeder and Dr Johan Rosengren, used the grant to attend the 2018 International Peptide Symposium in Tokyo. They then spearheaded a successful bid for Brisbane to host the event for 2021.

Backed by the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane Marketing and Tourism and Events Queensland, the symposium will see about 650 global researchers and experts in peptide science visit Brisbane, delivering an economic boost of over A$2 million.

“Brisbane’s excellence in life sciences research has helped boost Australia’s reputation as a leading player in the worldwide peptide community,” Dr Schroeder said.

“Hosting the International Peptide Symposium in Brisbane in 2021 will facilitate further networking opportunities, creating long-lasting collaborations and partnerships with the city.”

“I highly recommend anyone who is interested in organising a conference to apply for the Trailblazer Grant and take advantage of the support you will receive.”

Another recipient, Clinical Director of not-for-profit Hear and Say, Emma Rushbrooke, worked with Brisbane Marketing to secure the AG Bell Global Listening and Spoken Language Symposium for Brisbane in 2021, after using the grant to attend the 2018 event in the United States.

Due to Ms Rushbrooke’s advocacy for Brisbane, the city will welcome about 500 global experts in paediatric hearing and healthcare, generating over $890,000 for the economy.

“We are doing some great research here in Australia and now we are being recognised internationally for our excellent level of service for children with hearing loss,” she said.

“I’m really excited we will be hosting the first conference of its kind in Brisbane.”

The Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant is run by the city’s economic development board, Brisbane Marketing. Applications close on 12 January 2020.