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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    Innovative boost for students with disability in remote locations

    Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    Tuesday, July 10, 2018

    Innovative boost for students with disability in remote locations

    The Palaszczuk Government will fund two innovative Queensland companies to develop and test technology to support students with a disability in rural and remote locations.

    Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the two companies, Mediasphere based in Southport and NeoRehab based in Brisbane, had been awarded funding under the Advance Queensland Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to develop interactive educational services.

    “We’re backing innovators in Queensland to achieve great things because this is an important part of our strategy to create jobs and diversify our economy in the future,” she said.

    “This government is also committed to providing Queenslanders with a world-class education, no matter their background. That’s what makes this announcement so special.

    “Mediasphere is developing a system called the PowerHouse Connected Learning Community that will enable teachers, therapists and students to create videos with sophisticated compression technologies to overcome the hurdle of limited bandwidth.

    “NeoRehab has developed a system called eHAB tele rehabilitation. This program has been shown to deliver outcomes for patients comparable to face-to-face consultation.

    “Through this SBIR challenge, NeoRehab will extend the capability of eHAB to allow the Department of Education to provide therapy and learning support in remote locations.”

    Education Minister Grace Grace said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to supporting regional students with disabilities to access the technology they need to engage in high-quality learning opportunities.

    “We are committed to providing all Queensland students with world-class education opportunities,” Ms Grace said.

    “It’s really pleasing to see two local companies using cutting-edge technologies to enhance the educational experiences of students with a disability in regional areas.”

    Ms Jones said the SBIR program enables innovative companies to develop out-of-the-box solutions to challenges across government.

    “Every year we ask our best and brightest to find innovative solutions to some of Queensland’s biggest challenges. This challenge is a very important one - to improve the lives of young Queenslanders with disabilities who live in regions where face-to-face contact for intensive support is difficult.

    “The outcome will not just be better education and health services for students with disabilities but the companies solving this challenge will retain the intellectual property they develop, so they can take their solutions to a broader market.”

    The SBIR challenge, designed with the Department of Education, requires the companies to develop an innovative way to offer face-to-face education and therapy services that are personalised, accessible and safe for students and families in remote and rural areas.

    Mediasphere Chief Executive Officer Tony Carrucan said that Mediasphere was eager to embrace the challenge set by the Queensland Government to provide an innovative solution which would resolve the issues faced by Queensland students with disability.

    “At Mediasphere, we are continually looking to create solutions which empower organisations to best leverage their human potential and meet the needs and expectations of their customers,” Mr Carrucan said.

    “The SBIR program provides exciting opportunities for innovative organisations like ours to showcase our expertise and develop intuitive, cloud-based education solutions.” 

    Advance Queensland is the Palaszczuk Government’s $650 million whole-of-government initiative, supporting jobs across a range of industry sectors.

    For more information on SBIR, visit advance.qld.gov.au/sbir.

    Media contact: 0419 620 447