City in bid for ‘smart’ status

Nokia innovation consultant Geof Heydon, BDI Health CEO David Noble, Bendigo Business Council CEO Leah Sertori, Nokia chief technology officer Warren Lemmens and Bendigo Sister Cities Committee member Ningning Shang at the BBC's Smart Cities Symposium at the Bendigo Club on Thursday. Picture: JASON WALLS

Nokia innovation consultant Geof Heydon, BDI Health CEO David Noble, Bendigo Business Council CEO Leah Sertori, Nokia chief technology officer Warren Lemmens and Bendigo Sister Cities Committee member Ningning Shang at the BBC's Smart Cities Symposium at the Bendigo Club on Thursday. Picture: JASON WALLS

Business leaders from around the world have met with local small and medium-sized enterprises in Bendigo for the Bendigo Business Council’s first Smart City Bendigo Alliance Symposium.

There’s a very interesting start-up community in this part of the world. - Geof Heydon

BBC chief executive officer Leah Sertori said the symposium was part of the BBC’s bid to have Bendigo recognised by the federal government as a “smart city”.

“The willingness of large global organisations to invest their resources in developing the approach with us in a partnership model is already a highlight,” she said.

“Their confidence that Bendigo has enough unique strengths to make our bid stand out nationally and globally is very heartening.”

That confidence was manifest in the enthusiasm for shown by representatives of multinational communications technology giant Nokia, who said Bendigo ticked all the boxes the company looked for in a modern tech-savvy city.

“We’ve spoken to a lot of cities, a lot of city administrations, a lot of government people and to us the engagement with Bendigo is actually a standout,” chief technology officer Warren Lemmens said.

“It’s a standout in terms of the commitment of the community, and through the business council in particular, to seeing something fundamentally improve and improve in a multi-dimensional sense and leveraging the best of what Bendigo offers.”

Nokia innovation consultant Geof Heydon said it was cities like Bendigo that would drive future innovation.

“There’s a very interesting start-up community in this part of the world and if we combine that with our global start-up community and our global partners we can create some really interesting new business ideas,” he said.

One of those start-ups is BDI Health, and CEO David Noble said some of Bendigo’s health challenges could be harnessed to help develop innovative solutions.

“We can then use Bendigo as a test bed where you can develop products and make them work and then you can roll them out across the state, the country and even internationally,” he said.

“It actually makes Bendigo a really good place to develop products.”

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