From Silicon Valley to ‘Silicon Beach’
  • Wednesday 10 September 2014
TriMet light rail system in Portland, Oregon, USA

Mayor Mark Jamieson’s visit to the United States, with delegates from University of the Sunshine Coast and others, has opened doors to the Sunshine Coast’s bid to become a high-technology knowledge industry mecca.
With a green-field site about to be turned into one of Australia’s most exciting central business districts, it’s fitting that the technological underpinnings should be as advanced and adaptable as possible for a generation of 21st-century businesses demanding the most advanced communications support.
“Our first stop was Portland, Oregon, whose metropolitan dynamics are close to our own,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“They are working to re-develop key parts of the city, to especially enhance relations with key industries – just as we are.
“Their key industries are medical/educational and agriculture.”
The Mayor also took a close look at – and a journey on – the city’s TriMet advanced light rail system.
The next stop was Silicon Valley, near San Jose, where the delegation met up with executives from Microsoft and Cisco.
“We discussed issues of technological development around small cities and how we can best develop that in Maroochydore,” the Mayor said.
“And in San Francisco, we visited the $US1.5 billion Mission Bay university hospital development, which will feature so many similar aspects to our own new hospital, and which will open in February of next year.
“It was a little like seeing where we will be here on the Coast in 10 years’ time.”
The delegation also toured University of California’s QB3, a quantitative biosciences incubation centre “which held many similarities to our own Innovation Centre”.
And just to again prove how small a world it is, Mayor Jamieson said Mission Bay Hospital’s vice-chancellor and CEO came from Redcliffe.
“And the Australian Consul-General Nigel Warren’s parents live at Twin Waters, so I know people on the international stage here are well-informed about the Sunshine Coast,” he said.
Mayor Jamieson joined the trip after it was initiated by USC Pro-Vice Chancellor Engagement Mike Hefferan in conjunction with Stockland and Savills.
“Unlike China, this was a knowledge mission rather than an investment mission, however some technology investors in the USA are working with Austrade and already have a strong interest in the Sunshine Coast,” he said.