The Queensland government has announced it will invest AU$3.3 million to establish an agtech and logistics hub in Toowoomba.
Tenders are now opened and a public information session would be held in Toowoomba prior to closing tenders on July, 13 2020.
According to Minister for Innovation Kate Jones, the hub will serve as a space to build and test technologies, such as drones and smart bots, as well as for conducting industry workshops and forums to improve farming practices and supply chains.
She said the government were looking for operators to establish and run the facility.
"Agriculture is a multi-billion-dollar industry and is crucial to this region," Ms Jones said.
"We're investing in this industry to create jobs and stimulate the economy in the Darling Downs.
"We have some of the world's leading experts in agriculture and ag technology. This hub will be a world-class centre to train workers and develop cutting edge technology and products."
Ms Jones said the hub's purpose would be to build the sector's capacity to use technology and innovation to revolutionise farming practices and improve supply chains.
"Ag tech is the way of the future. We want to develop better, more efficient ways of farming but we also want Queensland to lead the way when it comes to exporting new products and technology. This project is vital," Ms Jones said.
Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said the new agtech hub would help strengthen the state's $18.5 billion agriculture industry.
"Toowoomba is already one of Australia's most innovative and productive agricultural regions and is set to lead the state as the gold standard for modern farming," Mr Furner said.
"We know the COVID-19 pandemic and drought have made it tough for the industry, so a facility like this that removes barriers to adopting new technologies and helps farmers improve productivity, diversify and increase margins will be most welcome."
"People interested in establishing the hub and managing its operations for up to three years have an opportunity to tender, with the contract expected to be announced in August 2020," she said.
The new hub is an initiative of the Palaszczuk Government's $755 million Advance Queensland initiative.