Innovative Thinkers Gather in Launceston Mon 28 May 2012 David O'Byrne Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology The Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology, David O'Byrne, today met some of Tasmania and Australia's most creative and inventive business and research leaders at the Five Days of Innovation Festival in Launceston. The bi-annual festival brings together innovators, entrepreneurs and researchers to encourage collaboration and innovation in the business, community and science sectors. "Tasmania has a strong record of producing fresh and innovative ideas," Mr O'Byrne said. "As a small state, we often can't compete on bulk and quantity. But we can compete by playing to our strengths, being clever and creative, and focussing on quality. "Those are key principles of the Tasmanian Government's Economic Development Plan - which provides a detailed strategy for diversifying our economy, finding new markets, and creating the jobs of tomorrow," he said. While innovation is crucial in many areas of business, it's particularly central for Tasmania's science and research industry. The sector generates more than $350 million each year, employs about 3,200 people, and has about 950 local, national and international collaborative partnerships. "Tasmania has the highest concentration of scientists, per capita, of any Australian state," Mr O'Byrne said. "Our industry attracts many world-class scientists contribute to research programs. In turn, that can often produce commercially viable products that create new export markets and new Tasmanian jobs," he said. Tasmania also has great examples of innovative businesses in areas like marine engineering, mining, manufacturing, and information and communication technologies (ICT). Mr O'Byrne congratulated the festival organisers for their excellent initiative and for showing such commitment to promoting innovation. The 5 Days of Innovation Festival runs from May 28th to June 1st in Launceston. It's part of the Australian Innovation Festival. Visit www.5daysofinnovation.com.au for more information.