OPPORTUNITIES for Australian regional manufacturing will be among the highlights of the 10th Bendigo Invention and Innovation Festival.
The free festival will be staged online, given the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will also be extended from one week to about a month, running from August 31 to October 2.
This year's Inventor Awards have been cancelled.
The Festival of Failure is still expected to be a highlight.
'Optimism through Innovation' is the theme of this year's event.
Bendigo Invention and Innovation Festival chair Paul Chapman said the theme focused on the "enormous" opportunities for businesses, educators and rural communities with a "can do" attitude.
Keynote speakers include the Australian Space Agency's Anthony Murfett, Austmine's Christine Gibbs Stewart, the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre's Paul Cooper and Michael Sharpe, the Centre for Optimism's Victoria Perton, RMIT Wearables and Sensing Network's Dr Leah Heiss, and Bendigo Bank's Marnie Baker.
The festival includes a day dedicated to science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics - or STEAM.
"This free festival is open to everyone who has a strong desire to do things better," Mr Chapman said.
"It is designed to inspire innovative thinking... and promote the extraordinary career path opportunities available for the region's younger generation."
Partners and contributors include the Bendigo Manufacturing Group, Bendigo Tech School, the Digital Innovation Festival Victoria, Goldfields Local Learning and Employment Network, and The Centre for Optimism.
Bendigo mayor Margaret O'Rourke said the COVID-19 pandemic had been "the great disrupter".
"Now more than ever the ability to invent, innovate, and capitalise on new ideas are key to business success and survival, whatever the size or industry," she said.
She said Bendigo had long prospered from inventions and innovations and was proud of its reputation as a forward-thinking city of the future.
For more information or to register, visit biif.com.au
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