Health the way of smart Coast future says digital guru
THE Sunshine Coast would be "crazy" if it did not mobilise all its efforts in creating a national or world class health precinct around the $2 billion hospital being built at Kawana.
Daniel Petre, once one of Microsoft's top men, told a forum this week the Sunshine Coast had to go after one thing it could be recognised for at a national level.
He suggested it might be sports science or a health speciality that would be supported by the region's great environment and lifestyle.
But he dismissed talk of bringing a "Silicon Valley" to the region, saying the Coast did not have the scale of companies to attract major players.
Instead, the Coast should develop a "narrative" that would become its selling point to business, government and wider community.
Mr Petre was brought to the Sunshine Coast by Member for Fisher Mal Brough after a presentation attended by just a handful of MPs in Canberra.
The technology investor, who was the only Australian vice-president of Microsoft, recently announced plans for a $50 million fund offering $2 million to $5 million to local businesses with proven business models.
He told a forum at Caloundra this week that rapid advances in technology and robotics would mean massive job losses.
But he said there would be incredible opportunities for those with skills in science, technology, maths and engineering.
Mr Petre visited the site of the hospital with Mr Brough, later telling the forum: "You have got a big opportunity. It's crazy if you don't use it.''
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