MIT REAP Workshop 3, Brisbane, Australia

May 28, 2019

Hosting a workshop for MIT REAP is an incredible opportunity for a region to bring together innovators and leaders from around the world to one place with the goal of moving an entire innovation ecosystem forward.  

– Travis Hunter, Interim Director, MIT REAP, MIT Sloan School of Management

The four-day workshop designed to bring regional stakeholders together convened in Brisbane, Australia this year. MIT REAP teams of Cohort 5 representing the regions of Yakutia, Russia; Quito, Ecuador; Queensland, Australia; Melbourne, Australia; Saudi Arabia-Western Region; and Ghana gathered to develop their MIT REAP Strategy and take the needed actionable steps to advance their Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurial (IDE) ecosystems. The workshop gave the regions the opportunity to work with MIT REAP faculty and discuss strategic initiatives with stakeholders from across the world.

For some, this was their first time visiting Australia. Other MIT REAP teams, such as Melbourne and Queensland, were known locals and were able to share with team members and staff insights about the beautiful city of Brisbane and all it had to offer. After the workshop kick-off, the teams toured Queensland’s active innovation ecosystem, showcasing their strengths in creating sustainable growth in the fields of agribusiness, robotics, and tourism.

Due to a clear vision for its IDE ecosystem, MIT REAP team Queensland was chosen to host Workshop 3. The opportunity to host allowed the team to exhibit their regional strengths and strategy to become the leading hub for IDEs by focusing on their natural resources and core sectors. Professor Arun Sharma, MIT REAP team Queensland Champion and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President (Research and Innovation) of Queensland University of Technology, expressed, “Our aim is to create a globally leading innovation ecosystem for the sustainable growth of Queensland sectoral strengths linked to our natural resources.

Honorable Kate Jones, Minister of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister of the Commonwealth Games, added, “Queensland has a growing international reputation as a hub for technology and innovation. This program gives us a seat at the table with world-leading innovators and entrepreneurs to find new ways to support Queensland’s best and brightest and export our ideas overseas.”

MIT REAP’s Global Innovation Celebration, held for all Cohorts to conclude the workshop, was hosted at the Queensland Art Gallery with remarks by Honorable Kate Jones. This was followed by two keynote speeches by Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, Leanne Kemp, and MIT REAP faculty, William Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship and Associate Dean for Innovation at MIT Sloan, Fiona Murray.

Kemp shared her personal entrepreneurial story of creating a successful blockchain start-up to her appointment as Chief Entrepreneur by the Queensland Government. She reminded the audience about the importance of women in technology, as well as advancing the city of Queensland into an innovation hub for entrepreneurs.

Professor Murray discussed how MIT REAP continues to impact regions around the world by helping them create IDEs through a multi-stakeholder approach. The MIT REAP framework takes into consideration each region’s strengths and develops a deeper understanding of its weaknesses, helping to better analyze a region’s ability to build a consensus on a regional comparative advantage and implement an MIT REAP strategy drafted by a regional group of leaders.

As the Cohort 5 Teams move into Action Phase 3 they will begin to implement their strategic interventions in accordance with their regional strategies that were developed over the course of Workshop 3. MIT REAP faculty and staff will prepare for the next engagement with Cohort 5 and their graduation at MIT in June 2019 at Workshop 4: MIT REAP Acceleration: Maintaining the Momentum marking the end of their journey from inception to execution.