When you get people together in the same room ideas can spark incredible innovations.
That is what director David Hughes hoped as 200 people gathered for a symposium kick-starting Bendigo Invention and Innovation Festival on Monday.
“It’s the connections and conversations. One of the big things about innovation is the ability to work with other people. It’s very hard to do things by yourself,” he said.
Those same conversations were top of mind for several local groups formulating plans as technology rapidly transformed society.
The Bendigo Tech School and Bendigo Health were both considering how they could use hubs to incubate ideas.
Tech School director Graeme Wiggins said his group was working towards creating a “maker space” where people could collaborate and share tools to develop their ideas, technologies and products.
During the festival the Tech School will host a talk by Holger Dielenberg, founder of Melbourne’s Space Tank Studio, as well as a forum that would help channel local ideas for maker spaces.
“The idea would be that the Tech School could eventually work out a model and host a community maker space,” Mr Wiggins said.
Bendigo Health’s executive director of information services Bruce Winzar said his group was considering ways to start an innovation hub too.
That hub would be geared towards managing health, using data and supporting start-ups. Mr Winzar said it would also be a chance to consider how Bendigo Health shaped the services that patients now expected.
“It’s early days of the concept but it would look like a series of partnerships with business and institutions,” he said.
Mr Winzar said the festival symposium was a wonderful opportunity to connect with potential vendors, suppliers and partners he did not often get a change to meet with regionally.
“These sorts of events are held in major capital cities or even internationally … there’s a lot of people here and you would not have an idea of what they are doing until you actually have a chat with them,” he said.
The festival continues Tuesday, when the Bendigo Inventor Awards take place at the Discovery Science and Technology Centre.
Further workshops and presentations are scheduled through to Sunday.
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