G20 Global Business Challenge Gala Awards Ceremony and Dinner
Thank you, Professor Coaldrake, for your kind introduction, and for the invitation, on behalf of all three partner universities, to participate in this important event. I too acknowledge Minister McArdle, all distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and I welcome particularly to Queensland those visiting our great State for the first time.
At once I also acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we gather, and, to Elders past and present, I extend respectful greetings.
In a week or so, the leaders of the G20 nations will be in Brisbane for their Summit to wrestle with complex and challenging global issues. But they will not be the only group in this city to have faced that task.
The G20 Global Business Challenge has ensured that bright and bold minds from around the world have been focusing on just such an issue for some time.
As you have heard, that issue is water, a finite and precious resource that affects crucial aspects of the lives of communities everywhere.
And, having chosen as its 2014 focus this highly complex and indeed universal issue, the Business Challenge then matched that level of ambition with a bold approach to the parameters and ethos of the competition.
The Business Challenge encourages, almost mandates, collaboration across borders and disciplines, across industry, research and government. The guiding principle is, of course, that global challenges require a global response.
I am delighted to see that the Business Challenge also seeks to harness the power of young minds. In my experience, they are less prone to accepting that this or that cannot be done, or must be done in a particular manner.
In this way, the competition positively invites an openness to highly innovative yet practical and indeed commercially viable options to tackle the challenge in hand. The finalists’ project summaries, set out in the booklet distributed tonight, show that they have responded magnificently to that invitation.
There are, of course, incentives: cash prizes, certainly, but also an opportunity to establish new professional relationships and gain professional profile. The prospect of working in a team committed to benefitting communities worldwide must also be a powerful attraction.
As Governor of Queensland, I am immensely proud that the Business Challenge is a home-grown initiative.
This State already has a robust, internationally-renowned research and innovation base, thanks in large part to the quality of our universities.
But through their establishment of the Business Challenge, the three Queensland partner universities have demonstrated another admirable way of exerting positive influence and leadership on the global stage.
I thank QUT for hosting this inaugural Business Challenge and I congratulate QUT, and the University of Queensland and Griffith University on their vision and commitment in bringing this marvellous initiative to fruition.
I express my appreciation to the many judges participating in the Business Challenge for their time and hard work.
My thanks go also to the Queensland and Australian governments for their invaluable support, and to the sponsors and supporters involved for their great generosity.
I thank all forty teams that entered the Business Challenge. I sincerely hope that the ideas they generated will find application that brings benefits to communities in many places on our planet.
I congratulate the six teams that made it to the final round and the three teams that will win prizes this evening. All of you seem to have survived, more or less unscathed, the intense final round of competition.
Team members can be confident that, given Queensland suffered widespread floods in 2011 and that many of the same regions are now in prolonged drought, your water initiatives have an attentive audience here!
The G20 Global Business Challenge has created powerful coalitions of people, institutions, knowledge and ideas capable of making inroads into the great global challenges of our time.
I wish this wonderful Queensland initiative a bright future for the seven years that the university partners have generously committed to and, I hope, well beyond. Thank you.