NQ SPARK Federal Government Funding Announcement

The Federal Government has finalised an agreement with North Queensland Simulation Park (NQ SPARK), marking the commencement of northern Australia’s first-of-its-kind collaborative defence industry hub.

NQ SPARK is set to deliver world-class simulation and training opportunities to north Queensland with state-of-the-art facilities supported by the Townsville City Council, the Queensland Government, and James Cook University.

With a funding commitment of $32.2 million, this cutting-edge precinct will provide simulation training opportunities for the regional science and defence, emergency response, health, and knowledge sectors in the area.

Taking strides in advancing innovation in North Queensland and beyond

QDSA welcomes the investment by the Government on such an important innovation precinct in Queensland.

Congratulations to NQ SPARK, the Townsville City Council, Queensland Government, James Cook University and Australian Defence Industry who have been passionate about developing a unique combination of Defence Health and Science in Queensland.

NQ SPARK Executive Director, Professor Mick Reilly said this funding would establish NQ SPARK as the cornerstone of Australia’s simulation industry. 

“With this investment by the Federal Government this Townsville City Council initiative will see the NQ SPARK project come to life. This crucial injection of funding will see the activation of the simulation industry, commencing with an interim facility set to open this month while the full NQ SPARK precinct is built,” Professor Reilly said. 

“Not only will this initiative benefit the regional economy in North Queensland, but it also offers potential national and international opportunities for Queensland in simulation research, education, test and evaluation, and training spaces.

“Collaboration will be a central theme of NQ SPARK’s operations spanning Defence industries, health, science, and technology. We look forward to working closely with QDSA and the broader Defence industry both here in Queensland and throughout the country,” he said. 

Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy, emphasised the substantial economic impact of the NQ SPARK facility, projecting the creation of up to 800 jobs and an injection of over $200 million into the local economy.

Conroy stated, “This is a unique integration of industry sectors such as health, emergency services and universities, with flow-on social and economic benefits to the broader community.

“NQ SPARK can set the benchmark for similar initiatives across the country,” he said.

The NQ SPARK agreement represents a major stride towards advancing defence industry innovation, bolstering economic growth, and positioning North Queensland as a leader in cutting-edge simulation training.

This collaboration between industry sectors sets the stage for further initiatives of similar magnitude across the country.

NQ SPARK is poised to shape the future of Defence, health, and scientific advancements

NQ SPARK is a not-for-profit collaborative organisation comprised of James Cook University, Townsville University Hospital and Lavarack Barracks. Together, NQ SPARK aims to ignite and accelerate an industry precinct in critical and emerging technologies with a focus on knowledge, defence, and health.

This synergy of sectors fosters an unparalleled, collaborative opportunity. As a dynamic testing ground, NQ SPARK will serve as a platform for sovereign testing, evaluation and certification of products and systems for the ADF and industry.

This precinct offers a unique environment for testing within tropical and sub-tropical settings, encompassing live, virtual, and constructive simulations.

Unlocking North Queensland’s potential

This Government funding is a significant milestone for NQ SPARK to propel their groundbreaking collaborative initiative.

The future looks brighter than ever with NQ SPARK paving the way as powerful force in shaping the landscape of simulation, health, science and technology not just for Defence but also the wider community.

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The Queensland Defence Science Alliance (QDSA) is a university-led initiative to grow and connect an agile Defence innovation ecosystem, leveraging Queensland’s strengths, to deliver trusted solutions to meet Defence requirements.