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Innovative entries sought for regional awards

Businesses, public and not-for-profit organisations are being urged to start preparing their entries for the 2012 Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Innovation Awards now. Nominations close on Wednesday, 21 September.

The annual awards program is an initiative of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI), to recognise and showcase the region's innovations and innovative approaches. According to RDANI Executive Officer, Nathan Axelsson, the awards also address the additional need for regional businesses to be innovative towards improving their competitive edge. “If you innovate, think outside the square, explore new directions or approaches, then RDANI wants to hear your story. We want to recognise and celebrate the uniqueness of local organisations or businesses and what sets them apart," he said.

“These awards are in line with RDANI’s objectives to support economic growth and the development of sustainable, socially inclusive communities in Northern Inland NSW,” he said. “The Northern Inland Innovation Awards showcase and promote a vast array of products, services and initiatives. Entering these awards not only puts your operation up for recognition on a regional level, it also helps to inspire others.”
"The importance of this awards program is again demonstrated by the caliber of generous sponsors it has attracted, which are: Regional Development Australia Northern Inland; AgriFood Skills Australia; AusIndustry; ShareMarket College; Telstra; and UNE Partnerships."

RDANI Senior Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings is urging the 13 councils within the Northern Inland region to assist in identifying and encouraging entries from local businesses. “RDANI would like to see Armidale Dumaresq, Glen Innes Severn, Gunnedah, Guyra, Gwydir, Inverell, Liverpool Plains, Moree Plains, Narrabri, Tamworth Regional, Tenterfield, Uralla and Walcha Council areas represented in the Northern Inland Innovation Awards,” she said. "Support from proactive Chambers of Commerce and like agencies would also be good to see."

These showcase Northern Inland NSW as a progressive, creative and resourceful region at State, National and even International levels,” Ms Hastings said. “Innovation isn’t necessarily invention. There are so many operations out there, large and small, which are growing and succeeding as a direct result of innovations or innovative approaches, such as diversification to better meet client or community needs."

The Northern Inland Innovation Award Categories are: Agriculture / Horticulture and associated services; Tourism / Leisure and Services; Professional and Retail services; Manufacturing and Engineering; and Research and Education.

The RDANI Innovation Awards Committee will select finalists for each category, who will be invited to attend the gala awards night later in the year, with the general public also encouraged to attend. The 2012 Innovation of the Year Award will be presented to the leading innovator across all categories. This year, the awards presentation night will take place in Tenterfield on Friday, 26 October.

“After the time, effort and money invested into innovation, through product development and commercialisation, past winners have stated that recognition through the Innovation Awards is a greatly appreciated validation,” Ms Hastings said.

For further information please contact the Regional Development Australia Northern Inland office on: 02 6771 2790 or go to the Award’s website: www.niia.com.au.

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