Virtual and augmented reality demonstrations, an Internet of Things workshop and an intro to borrowable podcasting equipment will feature at Newcastle Library during the upcoming Hunter Innovation Festival.
City of Newcastle has partnered with festival organisers to help Hunter residents explore innovation in a friendly, hands-on environment as part of strategic smart city strategy adopted by Council in 2017.
“The City of Newcastle is proud to be on board with the Hunter Innovation Festival as Festival Partner in 2019, supporting an expanded program and providing the Library as a festival hub,” Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
“Newcastle has a long history of producing world-class innovation in heavy industries and we’re also punching above our weight in emerging industries, such as robotics and advanced manufacturing.
“Our smart city infrastructure and platforms are now attracting international attention and we’re working hard to diversify the local economy through a range of public works and economic initiatives.
“Social inclusion is an important part of this, so I’m delighted that library members will soon be able to borrow tech to create professional podcasts and that our libraries in general are spearheading the smart city charge - through virtual and augmented reality and even hosting school holiday STEM programs.”
The festival follows adoption of Newcastle Libraries’ 2019-2029 Strategy, which aims to deliver a world-class library for a smart, liveable and sustainable city.
“The Library is a gateway to understanding the knowledge economy, supporting an inclusive approach for the benefit of all citizens,” Newcastle Libraries Manager Suzie Gately said.
“A key part of our new strategy is partnering with stakeholders in the smart city ecosystem to promote initiatives to improve liveability, sustainability and local innovation.
“The Hunter Innovation Festival is a great event to show the integral role libraries play in introducing the community to new technology and providing resources and programs to bridge the digital divide. “
Festival highlights at Newcastle Region Library on Laman Street include:
- Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) Demonstrations - learn how the City uses VR for destination marketing and AR to bring its heritage collections to life
- Data is the new oil – a talk looking at the relationship between smart cities and data
- Get involved in your smart city – a workshop on how to incorporate the Internet of Things (IoT) into your daily life.
- Podcasting 101 – with the library soon to make podcasting tech available for loan, this workshop will help story tellers transform ideas it into great sounding audio
- Idea to Execution with SheStarts – a workshop for entrepreneurial women looking to take the plunge and start their own business
- Technology and Backyard Food Production – a look at how you can use smart tech to increase the productivity of your veggie patch and garden
- Six kids’ workshops including two Family Maker Labs and a Mars Rover Challenge
The festival runs from May 6 to 17 and will include more than 40 events in Newcastle and the Hunter including a Hackathon, Pitch Night, Business Bootcamp, a Humans v Robots debate, Hunter Research Foundation Centre's Economic Breakfast with an international guest speaker, a Flash Mob, an interactive lighting installation in Civic Park and more.
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