Bendigo has always been known as an innovative regional city where ideas are not just born but also supported, nurtured and realised, and the Bendigo Inventor Awards is testament to the innovative and forward-thinking approach that the city has become known for. Be.Bendigo’s vision was to develop the program into one that not only supports the development of startups and other new businesses within Greater Bendigo, but also provides tools and information for established businesses to become more innovative. This vision was validated when in 2017 a Regional Australia Institute report stated that, “Regional Australia is becoming a major driver of economic output and productivity growth (and) innovation in regions will be crucial to embrace this cultural shift. Innovation will be the major driver of any productivity growth.”
In 2018 the Bendigo Invention & Innovation Festival was created to showcase regional entrepreneurs, help build a community around innovation and technology in regional areas, and connect regional business owners to national and global thought leaders in innovation and entrepreneurship. As such, BIIF has a broad appeal, attracting executives, entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators, tech-heads, education providers, government sector representative, students, disruptors and more, engaging almost 1,000 people across 13 separate events in 2018. The week-long festival supports Be.Bendigo’s aim of developing a prosperous and vibrant local economy by demonstrating the value that an innovative mindset can bring to a business.
We are grateful for the passion and commitment our key stakeholders have brought to the program this year to develop a collaborative network of organisations with a common aim. We are grateful to all our Partners for their valued financial and in-kind contribution and support, without which the Bendigo Invention & Innovation Festival would not be possible. Together, we have built a fantastic foundation on which to move the program forward and we look forward to working with our Partners and other stakeholders to foster even more innovation in this space.