Relationships formed at Boston convention
GLADSTONE'S confessed "walking billboard", Mayor Matt Burnett, was able to set the investment wheels in motion during his recent trip to the BIO International Convention in Boston.
Hosted by the Biotechnology Innovation Organisation, the June 4-7 convention attracted more than 1100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions and state biotechnology centres from across the US and more than 30 nations.
The convention was held at Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre, and Cr Burnett described the event as "massive".
"There was 17,000 delegates and there's another 5000-10,000 delegates that don't register for the conference and go to the side functions," he said.
"I went to a function called OWIN - Open Worldwide Innovation Network - and explained to them what Gladstone has to offer.
"One of their main members is Texas A&M, they're a massive university and the second biggest in the United States in terms of numbers, so I wanted to make sure we have a partnership with them because of their agricultural focus.
"If we can partner with Texas A&M we can support our agricultural industry."
Cr Burnett also met with a Belgium delegation, the Walloon Export and Foreign Investment Agency.
"They're the Belgium equivalent of Trade and Investment Queensland and there's some exciting possibilities that we might be able to meet with them about our biosolids," he said.
"We talked about what ways you can potentially use that waste stream.
"I was connected with the National Biodiesel Board so we'll be having conversations with them.
"We're hoping to set up a bioenergy hub where it's just not Northern Oil... Maybe someone can come along and make bioethanol out of something else and not be in competition with Northern Oils.
"If we can have a few making biodiesel and eventually when we get US Navy ships coming in, if Northern Oil can't meet their quota you've got another one next door so together they can fill them up, so I think there's huge potential there."
The trip cost just over $9000 and was Cr Burnett's second trip to the convention after attending last year.
He was joined by Queensland mayor's from Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Sunshine Coast.