November 16, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) has opened its Linkage Grant Program for the first time in two years, offering academics and professionals across various industries financial support to attend international conferences with a view to putting in bids to bring them to the Gold Coast in future.

The program offers up to $8,000 to each recipient to help fund their attendance at international meetings in their field, furthering their own professional development and raising the profile of their Australian organisation or institution overseas.

“The Linkage Grant program promotes collaboration with local academics and professionals to secure valuable international events and raise the profile of the Gold Coast on a global platform,” said GCCEC’s generation manger and chair of Destination Gold Coast Adrienne Readings

“The events we attract through our partners help build capacities of our city and provide opportunities for lasting legacies These conferences have provided considerable opportunity for knowledge exchange, connection and economic advancement.”

Conferences targeted by potential participants in the program must have at least 400 attendees and have the potential to be held on the Gold Coast within the next eight years.

Previous recipients of the grant, which launched in 2011 have attended the Genetic & Evolutionary Computation Conference in Japan, the International Weed Science Conference in the Czech Republic and the International Association for Impact Assessment in Italy.

In the last non-pandemic-impacted financial year – 2018-2019 – the Gold Coast hosted half of all conferences held in Queensland and the destination enjoyed an economic impact of $570 million generated by business events.

Applications for the current round of the Linkages Grant Program close on February 6, 2023.