About the Innovation Centre

Since 2002, the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast Pty LTD (IC) has become one of the best places to start or build a smart business. The IC’s role is to create tangible value for stakeholders including member businesses, the regional business community, the University of the Sunshine Coast, entrepreneurs, small business owners, students, all levels of government and the many people who call the Sunshine Coast home. The IC’s activities and members’ successes have contributed to Sippy Downs being recognised as an “Innovation Hotspot” as it helps develop the Sunshine Coast’s premier Knowledge Precinct.

Over the last decade or so, the landscape for startups and high growth businesses has rapidly changed. Digital disruption is changing the face of global markets and innovative business models are challenging traditional industries. It is now widely accepted that in the history of commerce it has never been easier to establish a new agile enterprise and deliver an innovative product or service to the global marketplace. Trends, fashions, technologies are changing at increasingly faster rates – this is a result of limitless connections and exponential rates of participation. With dedicated, small, nimble and responsive teams, powerful online platforms, seed funding and the power of social media, successful startup companies can take a viable product to the world with the help of the IC. Many successful founders were studying at university during the startup phase and business incubators like the IC have proven that they can tangibly assist entrepreneurial startups and high-growth companies.

The IC remains uniquely positioned to respond to the demands and dynamic landscape in which local Sunshine Coast entrepreneurs must contend. With over 30 businesses currently located at the Innovation Centre, a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of the Sunshine Coast, more than 130 business have graduated from the startup incubator or business accelerator program since 2002. Over 480 jobs have been created with more than $30million raised in early stage capital and government grants.

The IC supports its member companies with assistance from the University of the Sunshine Coast, Entrepreneur in Residence, a panel of expert mentors, regular member events and workshops, seed funding opportunities, and the chance to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, business people, university personnel and the community as a whole.

For more information on our member program, please visit our membership page.

Local Government Area

  • Third most populated area in Queensland (c. 316,858)
  • Ninth most populated area in Australia
  • c. 200km of coastline
  • Area of 3,126sq.kms or 0.2% of the State
  • 35,150 registered businesses
  • Retail, catering and tourism businesses are important to the holiday and surf destination, with c. 3.2m visitors per year, as is construction
  • Highest growing economy in Queensland at 5.1% pa over the decade to 2011
  • Strong Plans to triple the economy over the coming 20 years
  • Average yearly temperature range 15.80C to 25.20C
  • Fastest growing regional campus – University of Sunshine Coast at Sippy Downs
  • Long established business incubator – Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast P/L
  • Four TAFE QLD campuses

IC Inside View


The IC can also connect you to USC’s R&D expertise and capability which includes:

  • Centre for Healthy Activities, Sport and Exercise – The Centre for Healthy Activities, Sport and Exercise is a nationally accredited research and engagement centre.
  • Cluster for Health Improvement – Fostering innovative applied health research.
  • Engage Research Cluster – Building on familiar technologies to find solutions to social issues.
  • Forest Industries Research Centre – Focusing on issues in the forestry value chain and the economic and environmental sustainability of forest industries.
  • GeneCology Research Centre – Exploring genetics, ecology, genomics and physiology and their interactions.
  • Indigenous Studies Research Theme – An emerging area of strength within the Sustainability Research Centre.
  • Inflammation and Healing Research Cluster – Improving health outcomes related to dysfunctional inflammatory processes.
  • Koala research – Maya, the first koala scat detection dog in Australia, is available to perform koala scat surveys.
  • Senior living research – has a focus on older Australians.
  • SEQ Eastern Grey Kangaroo research – the focus is on the SEQ Eastern Grey Kangaroo Conservation Project.
  • Sustainability Research Centre – Exploring the social dimensions of regional environmental change (based in the IC).
  • USC Accident Research – Developing a leading capability in Human Factors and accident and safety-related research.
  • USC Research Bank – is the institutional research repository, providing an open access showcase of the University’s scholarly research output ensuring that research is made available to the local, national and international communities.

More info see: http://www.usc.edu.au/connect/research/research-and-development

The University has developed a number of significant existing and emerging partnerships as part of its strategic plan to increase research productivity and output. More info see:  http://www.usc.edu.au/connect/research/research-partnerships


We strive to maintain a professional and friendly working community here at the Innovation Centre. Our team are here to help you however they can.