Brisbane’s Lord Mayor has introduced the Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant to enlist early career professionals to make a start, as part of the Brisbane 2022 New World City Action Plan to attract valuable industry conferences to the river city. 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 this years 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.

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. “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. 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. Applications for the grant 2017-2018 grant have now closed.

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