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More innovation coming to region after official opening of Albany iHub

Campbell WilliamsonAlbany Advertiser
Great Southern Employment Development Committee’s Anne Sparrow at the iHub.
Camera IconGreat Southern Employment Development Committee’s Anne Sparrow at the iHub. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

The ribbon has been cut on the Albany iHub with the premises on Sanford Road set to help spur innovation in Albany.

The space will host mentoring programs from industry experts on topics such as tourism, storytelling, coding and more.

It has been established to foster discussions between community members interested in innovation.

While the panel is yet to be announced, it is understood that Neil Handasyde owner of Handasyde Strawberries will give insights into food innovation.

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Tim Sinclair-Smith, general manager at ibis Styles Albany, will provide mentorship on tourism and vision storytelling.

A 2019 review on the City of Albany’s support network for new ideas gave the City a score of only 16 out of 100 for innovation, according to parameters set by global think-tank Intelligent Community Forum.

Albany Chamber of Commerce & Industry chief executive Benita Cattalini said the project would help grow Albany’s innovation ecosystem.

“The innovation ecosystem was in its early stages previously and, already, we’ve seen so much activity happening and so much desire from young people to start seeing new workspaces and people are embracing it,” she said.

“We believe that we’re moving into that intermediate phase.

“Everyone in Albany is amazing, they just need a space to come here and talk to other people and share their ideas and bounce off each other and that’s what these spaces are about.”

Albany iHub was officially opened to the public on Wednesday, after Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens and Great Southern Employment Development Committee’s Anne Sparrow cut the ribbon to the facility the previous Friday.

It was funded through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and delivered by BreakthruWA, Worklink WA and the ACCI.

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