Researchers in areas of mobile robots and stem cells, a specialist passionate about finding solutions for children with hearing loss, and two molecular bio scientists are among the recipients of the inaugural Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant.
Seven successful applicants have been awarded a share of $25,000 to attend a leading international conference to highlight Brisbane’s expertise and help secure the event for Brisbane in a succeeding year.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the grant program was developed to support Brisbane’s up-and-coming professionals and researchers while also attracting high-profile conferences and the world’s brightest minds to Brisbane.
“The Brisbane 2022 New World City Action Plan commits to winning more conventions and business events, and to be globally recognised in the top 50 cities for international association conferences. The Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant is just one strategy we have to achieve this,” Cr Quirk said.
“Conventions and business events generate economic prosperity for our city through tourism, trade and investment opportunities, as well as important social change via contributions to Brisbane’s knowledge economy.
“The seven grant recipients demonstrate leadership and passion in their chosen fields, and will represent Brisbane’s expertise and depth of talent across sectors such as scientific research, health and technology.”
Brisbane Convention Bureau General Manager Juliet Alabaster said the application process sought to identify innovators, pioneers and ground-breakers passionate in equal measure about their area of expertise and Brisbane.
“We hope that through the connections, knowledge and insight gained from the grant recipients attending relevant international conferences, the Bureau can successfully bid to attract these events to Brisbane in the future,” Ms Alabaster said.
“Conventions and business events are big business for Brisbane, generating more than $257 million for our economy in 2016-17 alone.
“Along with the economic benefits, the grant recipients will offer considerable insight into Brisbane’s industry strengths, which is a key selection criterion for conference organisers when choosing a destination.”
2018 Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant recipients:
Emma Rushbroke is the clinical director at Hear and Say (HAS), a Queensland not-for-profit providing early intervention services for children with hearing loss.
Michael Piper is a research scientist at The University of Queensland (UQ), studying how stem cell differentiation regulates the formation of the brain, and how abnormalities to stem cell function can give rise to brain cancers, as well as neurodevelopment disorders such as autism.
Johan Rosengren is a senior research fellow at UQ, working primarily on bioactive peptides – naturally occurring substances that have evolved for specific functions and have uses in both biotechnological and pharmaceutical applications.
Christina Schroeder is a research academic at UQ, working in the field of bioactive venom peptide research, mining the venom of cone snails, spiders and snakes in search of novel therapeutics for the treatment of chronic pain and cancer.
Tom Allen works to empower purpose-led people to create positive social impact, while also lecturing at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Griffith University. He leads Impact Boom and currently works with Brisbane City Council to deliver the Elevate + Social Enterprise Accelerator Program.
Louise Baldwin is a researcher in health promotion at QUT. Her research covers chronic disease prevention and building healthy communities. This includes sun protection, physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco control and mental health.
Feras Dayoub is a research fellow at QUT, focused on enabling mobile robots to navigate and understand their surroundings using computer vision and machine learning, recently working within the team developing a machine to track and eradicate crown-of-thorns starfish on the Great Barrier Reef.