Bega Valley's big innovative week

By Liam O'Duibhir

Participants of a popular University of Wollongong hacking event

NSW’s Bega Valley is set to hit an innovation high point in 2016 that proves once again that you don’t have to live in a big city to be part of Australia’s ideas boom nor to help progress scientific and creative advancement. Bega Valley Innovation Week will run from Sunday 24 April to Sunday 1 May with events covering a broad range of science, engineering, computing and IT themes.

Among planned events are:

  • Entrepreneurs startup camp
    Discover the concept of ‘Sector Seeding’ and join domain experts from local industries and digital technology professionals in a challenge to ‘reinvent’ their sectors
  • Hack-a-gong on tour
    Participate in this popular University of Wollongong hacking event
  • Questacon Expo
    Have fun in this series of workshops with a strong 3D printing theme
  • The Future of Code
    Explore the move to Service Oriented Architecture and what this might mean for your business
  • Regional CIOs conference
    Network with other IT professional from the region
  • Engineering Day
    Engineers from the region will discuss the principles and techniques applied to a local example of high quality engineering
  • Minecraft Camp
    Kids are invited to discover the fascinating world of Minecraft.


Other program offerings will explore innovative science, engineering and research themes with local experts leading talks and workshops. Full program details will be announced shortly

Bega Valley Innovation Week is the culmination of five years’ of growing interest in science technology engineering and maths (STEM) across the region, and a push by a number of well-intentioned locals to seed Tech StartUps as the next wave of economic regeneration.

Traditionally, the Bega Valley has relied on Agriculture and Tourism as its economic mainstays, but there is limited capacity for these sectors to directly provide a large volume of STEM-based jobs. By combining local expertise with the energy, ideas and skills of digital technology professionals, including many of whom have recently relocated to the area, fast-growth scalable enterprises can be created. This will no doubt create an increased number of STEM-based career opportunities.

In delivering the region’s first Innovation Festival, IntoIT Sapphire Coast has joined the Sapphire Coast Science Hub supported by Inspiring Australia (NSW) to develop this exciting program of events. Other programs run by the Science Hub include

  • National Science Week in August
  • Monthly Coding Nights
  • Females in Technology networking
  • A new Maker Space
  • Creative collaborations with the regional arts community


The Science Hub also runs professional gatherings at CoWS Near The Coast, the region’s Digital Co-Working Space (cowsnearthecoast.com.au). To get involved in Bega Valley Innovation Week please email

Liam O'Duibhir is the chief co-ordinator for IntoIT Sapphire Coast (intoitsapphirecoast.com). From a software engineering background, Liam works with others in the Bega Valley community to bring together STEM professionals and business people to boost skills and jobs within the region.