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Northern Inland Innovation Awards 2012

Northern Inland NSW has shown to be rich with innovative business operators at the 5th Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Innovation Awards Dinner in Tenterfield, with the winner being Armidale educational software developer, EdAlive.

Businesses in regional Australia face massive challenges in the 21st Century and innovation is the way to jump the hurdles, Chair of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI), Mal Peters said.

The winner is a classic example of innovation in practice. "EdAlive shows how a business can expand national and international markets from a regional setting, through innovation. They have created new revenue streams with innovative approaches bringing older software products to new markets through the internet, while also getting ZooWhiz uniquely mobile," he said.

Graham East, the CEO of EdAlive said this regional recognition means a great deal to us. It has been challenging to stay a step ahead of the dramatically changing software publishing industry,"

The awards were held at the Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts complex, where Australia’s Father of Federation and one of Australia’s first great innovators, made his famous Tenterfield Oration with the dinner attended by a broad cross-section of businesses and organisations from across the region.

The category winners were:

  • Horticulture and Associated Services - “SaferGate”, of Inverell, for the invention and commercialisation of a revolutionary gate design.  Finalists were "Innovate Ag", of Wee Waa and "Fruit Salad Tree", of Emmaville. "Moore Venison", of Wellingrove received an Encouragement Award. This category was sponsored by AgriFood Skills Australia.
  • Tourism/Leisure and Related Services - "Experience the Highs", by Armidale Dumaresq, Walcha, Uralla and Guyra Councils. It markets the newly branded 'New England High Country', using a brochure, website, mobile device apps and social media to promote experience-based short breaks, highlighting high altitude outdoor attractions to younger city-based markets. Finalists were the “Kamilaroi Highway Group” and “The Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre”. An Encouragement Award went to "Moonbi Alpacas, Arts, Crafts & Café.” This category was sponsored by Telstra Country Wide.
  • Professional and Retail Services - "Hutchison Software" of Armidale for "Gardenate", involving a website, mobile apps, and an email planting reminder service for home gardeners. The information, forum and app functionality has earned international renown. Finalists were “Elly B (Organic Skincare)” of Uralla and “Premier Meats” of Tenterfield. The Encouragement Award was presented to "New England Country Living Magazine", of Tamworth. This category was sponsored by Sharemarket College Brisbane.
  • Manufacturing and Engineering - “Star Logixs Electronics”, of Deepwater. This high-tech business has designed, developed and manufactured cutting-edge electronic devices such as control systems for the Autobaler and voltage indicator Livetesters, for domestic and export markets. Finalists were “Hillier by Design", of Tenterfield and “Boss Engineering”, of Inverell. The Encouragement Award went to Armidale's "New England Solar Power". This category was sponsored by AusIndustry Enterprise Connect.
  • Research and Education Category - EdAlive won this particularly tight competition, which meant there were four finalists. The other three were “ISU Solutions”, of Armidale; “The University of New England's School of Rural Medicine” and Dr Robert Mensah, Chief scientist of the former Cotton Catchment Communities CRC of Narrabri. "The Armidale Spinners and Weavers Group" received the Encouragement Award. This category was sponsored by UNE Partnerships.

For further enquiries or an information package please contact Kim-Trieste Hastings khastings@rdani.org.au

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