Central Highlands Development Corporation

Driving growth & empowering business in the Central Highlands

Advancing Regional Innovations Program

Building and bridging our region's new economy

In 2017, CHDC were successful in securing $500,000 over three years to deliver the Queensland Government’s Advancing Regional Innovation Program across the Fitzroy region. Together with our regional communities and businesses, ARIP will build and bridge Fitzroy’s economy from a traditional engineering and primary production base to a vibrant, global marketplace for diverse services and products for the future.

We will achieve success by celebrating their stories, facilitating events and training, supporting co-working spaces and digital platforms, identifying and providing them with relevant tools, and measuring and sharing our journey.
Our vision for the innovative ecosystem is:
  • Confident, agile, sustainable, investment and supply chain-ready businesses
  • Knowledge and data shared across regions, businesses, research and industry organisations which adds value for businesses
  • A safe place to fail, trial and learn new things because risk is shared
  • Information is collected which tells a story and builds a strong brand for the regions
  • A sense of fun and discovery

Program Objectives

Building and Bridging Our Region’s New Economy will enable innovation and technology development by making visible and connecting the incredible human capital of our individuals, businesses and organisations and linking them to the resources, skills and capital they need. Our focus is on start-ups, scale-ups, small enterprises and any business seeking to connect with the innovation ecosystem.

ARIP aims to develop and foster:
  • Business sustainability
  • Economic growth
  • Knowledge retention
  • Future skills, and
  • Hub sustainability

The program will do this through the following actions
  • Champions: Engage regional and external entrepreneurial leaders into a conversation with the wider community; celebrate and build on success.
  • Events: Bring people together to share, discover and enjoy discrete and regular events across the region and facilitate investment opportunities. 
  • Collaborating: Create spaces and platforms that are focused on the people and resources unique to regional Fitzroy.
  • Tools: Determine our community’s most important problems and how technology can solve them.
  • Measure, review, adapt: Prepare for what’s coming next by establishing metrics, identifying value creation and seeking new opportunities.


Delivering the ARIP project would not be possible without the significant financial and in-kind support from our project partners. Our current collaborators bring to the table experience and networks across multi-national listed company, local government, research institutions, local-based emerging start-up, and the not-for-profit sector. [link to each website]

We also work collaboratively with a network of economic development partners and local councils across the Fitzroy region to ensure all relevant networks inside the boundary are engaged on ARIP projects. This includes Rockhampton Regional Council, Livingstone Shire Council, Gladstone Regional Council and Banana Shire Council.