As part of the government’s strategy to make Queensland the drone capital of Australia, the world’s leading minds in drone technology will converge on Brisbane for one of the largest unmanned automated vehicle conferences on the globe. Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the World of Drones Congress at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre this week played an important part in the government’s plan to diversify Queensland’s economy. “Through our half-a-billion-dollar Advance Queensland fund, we’re investing in sectors like drone technology because we know this is the way of the future,” she said. “We’re committed to diversifying Queensland’s economy to create the jobs of the future in this state. That’s exactly what we’re doing by supporting this conference. “Queensland has some of the world’s foremost experts on drone technology. We’re working hard to position Queensland as the drone capital of Australia. “Our work is helping us to build critical mass in artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous vehicles and will allow us to capitalise on a global industry which Goldman Sachs expects to be worth more than US$100 million by 2020. “Collaboration is important in innovation. To have the world’s best minds in drone technology in the one place, working together with Queenslanders is invaluable.” State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the recent release of the Palaszczuk Government’s Drones Strategy - the first of its kind in Australia - would help ensure Queensland has the right policies and programs in place to back future technologies, regulate their use and create jobs. “We’re the only state in Australia with a strategy to capitalise on the growth of this sector,” he said. “Our highly-skilled workforce and support for platform technologies through programs like our $15 million Industry Tech Fund puts us in a very strong position. “Local drone businesses cover a range of sectors - everything from accident investigations to surveying and farming and international companies like Terra Drone and Trumbull Unmanned. “The Palaszczuk Government is forging ahead in this space by investing in new technology that we know will create jobs in Queensland and support our growing tech economy.” Ms Jones said Queensland was a leader in the development and application of drone technology. “The World of Drones Congress creates international trade opportunities for its host. For this reason, the Palaszczuk Government is providing up to $350,000 to host the Congress in Brisbane in 2018 and 2019,” she said. “Through a new Artificial Intelligence Hub at The Precinct in Fortitude Valley and various Advance Queensland grants, we’re helping local startups like InFarm from Goondiwindi, FlyFreely from Townsville and Brisbane companies V-Tol Aerospace and Immersive Robotics to develop their technology.” World of Drones Congress Convenor Catherine Ball said about 500 delegates would visit the conference, many from other countries, which was another sign of Queensland’s reputation in the Asia–Pacific region as a leader in drones. “Drone technology is here and the possibilities are endless for businesses going forward, from the delivery of goods to giving the movie industry a new look, and helping our Queensland lifesavers patrol our beaches,” Dr Ball said. “Through this conference and the innovative work of drone companies around Queensland, we can take drone applications to the next level and help many sectors explore the capabilities of these machines.” Renowned drone experts like futurist Professor Genevieve Bell from the Australian National University and Professor Gordon Wyeth from Queensland University of Technology will lead keynote addresses across the two-day conference. The World of Drones Congress is being held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from August 9-10 2018.