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Your Invitation to Region’s Innovation Awards

The 8th Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) Innovation Awards have now been judged, with over 60 entries impressing the judges. It was an incredibly challenging but rewarding task, according to RDANI Chair, Russell Stewart. “We had such a strong field of great innovation stories from businesses and organisations across the region that it was certainly a challenge picking the winners.”

“Now it’s time for everyone, across the region to get tickets for the gala three-course dinner and presentation night, so they can see for themselves the stories of innovation in our region,” he said.

This year, the awards will be held in the in the Glen Innes Services Club on Friday, 20 November from 6pm. Bookings for the gala presentation night can be made through www.niia.com.au . Information about the Awards and YouTube clips about past winners can also be found on the website. “Get in quick and be inspired by our region’s innovators. Businesses and organisations being recognised through the awards will have displays about their innovations and operations on hand for the night. Locally produced videos about our standout innovators will be run on big screens and we will hear from guest speaker, Professor David Lamb, who heads up the 2014 Innovation of the Year, UNE’s Smart Farm. The down-to-earth Science Director of the Co-operative Research Centre for Spatial Information will discuss the Smart Farm, innovation and the importance of promotion and recognition through the Northern Inland Innovation Awards,” Mr Stewart said.

The judging panel was comprised of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Executive Officer, Nathan Axelsson; RDANI Committee Members, Professor Neil Argent (from UNE) and Lauren Zell (from the Office of Environment and Heritage); Prime Super Regional Manager, Annette Mackay and RDANI Senior Project Officer David Thompson.

“We received 63 entries from across the Northern Inland,” said Mr Stewart. “Nobody is going to come along and promote what you have done better than you can. Literally, every entry was a winner; they all took the time to tell their story and they were all inspiring.”

This year, the categories are:

  • The Best Employment Agriculture/Horticulture and Associated services Award;
  • The Prime Super Health, Aged-Care and Disability Services Award;
  • The Telstra Shop Inverell Retail, Tourism & Leisure Award;
  • The UNE Professional and Government Services Award;
  • The Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Manufacturing and Engineering Award;
  • The Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Research and Education Award; and
  • The Regional Development Australian Northern Inland Innovation of the Year Award.

An Innovative Community Contribution Award will also be presented.

“We poured through entries demonstrating outside-of-the-box thinking for better outcomes, including better service outcomes, or commercial, social and environmental benefits. All the judges agreed that it really was a rewarding experience and by attending the Innovation Awards, you will too. Being innovative, recognising how you are unique and promoting it is vital in our competitive markets. With the rising costs of living and doing business, growth is a necessity; it is not enough to do everything the same as 10 or 20 years ago,” Mr Stewart said.

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