BENDIGO man Steve Serpell last night took out the Inventor of the Year Award, beating 20 finalists.
Mr Serpell invented the Freedom Design, a new drink bottle holder for bikes.
The inventor was not at the awards ceremony – he is in Uganda building a house as part of his charity work with international organisation Watoto.
Instead, Mr Serpell’s family were on hand to celebrate the achievement.
Son-in-law Jason Sim said the invention had already been produced worldwide.
He said the idea for the Freedom Design came from a spur-of-the-moment bike ride.
“Steve and I were out riding with our bikes and we struggled to get our water bottles back onto the conventional stand,” Mr Sim said.
“Steve said to me ‘there has got to be a better way we can do this.’ That was five years ago and he has slowly pieced it together and has come up with this concept.”
Mr Sim said the invention was safer for riders.
“The conventional system requires the bottle to slide into the cage and the bottle has to conform to the size of the cage,” he said.
“This system being a pin means the bottle can be any shape to start off with.
“So if you wanted to create an aerodynamic shape or even have a kids’ bottle with a handle, you can have more versatility.
“The main fact is that it is a lot safer to use.”
Mr Sim said Steve had put a lot of hard work and effort into creating the Freedom Design.
“To get it from the idea to where we are now took a long time and a lot of fine tuning,” he said.
“I can see why so many inventions and ideas never make it to the shelf because you just have to keep backing yourself and believing yourself and do it.”