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Innovation key to success for Gladstone business

State Treasurer Curtis Pitt and CEO Derek Berg at Berg Engineering.
State Treasurer Curtis Pitt and CEO Derek Berg at Berg Engineering. Mike Richards GLA190417STATE

INNOVATE and diversify or you will struggle.

That's the message from Gladstone's mining equipment, technology and services industry.

Berg Engineering chief executive officer Derek Berg said it was good to find niches where innovation could be leveraged.

"We noticed that several of our clients had issues with a particular, very common agitation arrangement, so we took the initiative to develop and patent an alternative, which our tests suggest will last at least twice as long as the current market leader," Mr Berg said.

"We started trialling the new design at a client's offshore mining project 10 months ago, with very pleasing results.

"We believe our new blade design and coating could dramatically increase agitation efficiency, which will drive down costs and ultimately lead to more investment and better profit margins for Australian and offshore commodities operators."

Mr Berg said businesses like his needed to continue evolving.

"That really started about 2006 when we were overly dependent on the mining and resources bubble," he said.

"Using some technology that we observed, we were able to help the company's transition through that downturn and then become more and more successful."

Mr Berg was speaking in conjunction with Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt. who was in Gladstone yesterday for the regional launch of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017-2022.

Mr Pitt said the government would be developing regional action plans as part of the strategy.

"It will be a process undertaken with local people, local businesses, including stakeholders like council to work with the State Government to find out exactly what the best opportunities are for this particular region," he said.

Mr Pitt said the strategy played to current trends like the growing middle class in Asia.

"If we're going to remain competitive in the global marketplace, we need to ensure we recognise those strengths we have, those traditional areas like agriculture, resources, tourism and international education," he said.

"We need to make sure we look at new opportunities, things like biofuels, renewables and medical sciences."

The Treasurer said expanding successful areas that companies like Berg Engineering operated in was important too.

Mr Berg said if Gladstone as a region was a place where businesses could optimise their return on investment there would be more jobs available.



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