Australian Innovation

North Coast Innovation Festival Launches A Huge Success

Working smarter – not harder – is the theme of a series of North Coast events and activities that were officially launched for the North Coast Innovation Festival. Festival launch events were held in Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Lismore.
Now in it’s second year, the North Coast Innovation Festival is the largest festival of it’s kind in Australia.  The festival aims to showcase the intellectual capital and innovative creativity needed to help businesses and communities throughout the region.
The launches featured a number of innovative speakers from around the region. The Lismore launch speakers included; Cate McQuillen, the Clarence Valley’s producer/director/writer of the Logie-nominated smash hit subversive pre-school animated television series, dirtgirl world, organic farmer Hogan Gleeson and Gabriele Taylor – the General Manager of Community Services with aged-care specialists Feros Care Ltd. The Federal Parliamentary Secretary of Innovation and Industry, Richard Marles officially launched the festival for the Northern Rivers.

The Coffs Harbour launch was held at the Southern Cross University National Marine Science Centre where Dr Steve Smith, Associate Professor spoke about the biodiversity of the Solitary Islands National Marine Park and the innovative work being done at in the NMSC. Mark Wolf, Co-Chairman, North Coast Innovation Festival and Director of Greenspan Technologies spoke about the relevance of innovation in renewable energy and sustainability. A photo exhibition captivating the biodiversity of the marine environment named 'Solitary Secrets' was on display.

 The Port Macquarie launch speakers included Peter Westfield, Co-Chairman, Australian Innovation Festival, Alan Taylor, Director of Coastal Innovations and Anya Dixon from Joyer. The launch hosted the Startup Business Development Program Innovation Award which acknowledged the outstanding contribution that new and emerging businesses are making through a commitment to innovation, creativity and developing excellence. The winner was Mitch McKay from Port Macquarie Hastings Heritage was presented the award by Federal Member for Lyne, Rob Oakeshott.
The launch events were hosted by the popular breakfast radio announcers from the ABC Cameron Marshall, Fional Poole and Justine Frazier.’

Regional Development Australia – Northern Rivers Chairman Ian Tiley said RDA-NR was proud to be presenting the North Coast Innovation Festival.
“It will highlight how innovation can involve taking your business to the next step, or just turning a good idea into a business,” he said. “Festival events run until May 31 and have been developed to facilitate networking between businesses, innovators, investors and our communities.”
Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee said the University was proud to be a major supporter of this event, which provided a wonderful opportunity to showcase innovation in areas ranging from business, education and the arts to health and the environment.

"Innovation is a key theme which runs through much of the University's teaching and research and we are particularly pleased to be hosting the launch of the festival at our Lismore campus," Professor Lee said.

For further information on the North Coast Innovation Festival go to
NCIF sponsors include Joyer, Southern Cross University, Regional Development Australia – Mid North Coast, Regional Development Australia – Northern Rivers, NSW Business Chamber, Country Energy, The University of Newcastle, North Coast TAFE, AusIndustry, Kempsey Shire Council, Nambucca Shire Council, Tursa Employment and Training, Janison and W.E. Smith Engineering.

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