Innovation Week 2015

supporting early entrepreneurship and innovation

Innovation Week 2015 embraces the future

Innovation Week 2015 celebrated Australian innovation and entrepreneurship in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, including health and medicine. Hosted in Melbourne, a series of public talks, conversations, events and online activities encouraged discussion and debate while fostering an innovative, collaborative culture. Learn more about the exciting events held during Innovation Week 2015 below.

Melbourne panorama_Innovation Week 2015

Innovation Week 2015 launched in the city of Melbourne. “An awesome end to Innovation Week 2015. So much optimism for the future of Australian science” – Luke Gamon, PhD student at the Innovators of Influence event, Deakin Edge. [Image: L. Gamon]

Innovators of Influence 2015

Support for innovation in Australia is critical to ensure economic and social outcomes, job creation and improving the quality of life for people. Building and maintaining a vibrant innovation ecosystem will ensure the future prosperity of our people, our industries and our nation. Innovation Week brings together leaders from the STEM sector – academia, business, education and government to exchange ideas, encourage collaborations and ensure Australia’s discoveries return their full potential value to society through translation to product, practice and/or policy.

Dr Alan Finkel, President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering speaks about his passion for energising the innovation space in Australia. [Image: ASIF]

Dr Alan Finkel, President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering speaks about his passion for energising the innovation space in Australia. [Image: ASIF]

To acknowledge Australia’s emerging leaders in this space, the inaugural Innovators of Influence were announced at an exciting breakfast event held at the stunning Deakin Edge in Melbourne’s CBD.

Congratulations to the 2015 Innovators of Influence:

  • Dr Peter French – Peter developed a single shot cure for hepatitis C called TT-034. This is the first time gene therapy has been used to treat viral disease.
  • Dr Catherine Robinson – Cathy has developed an innovative program for biosecurity stakeholder engagement strategies which assesses the risk and social impact of biosecurity decisions.
  • Heather Catchpole and team members at Careers with Code – Heather and her team Careers with Code have pioneered a national initiative to assist high school students develop skills in the area of digital technologies in order to forge the careers of the future. Their program is supported by Google.
  • Dr Catherine Ball – Cathy is developing world class long-range drone technology for environmental and engineering projects. Her technologies have been used in the oil and gas industry, as well as to protect wildlife.
  • Professor Tony Weiss – Tony has developed an advanced pipeline of products based on elastin with applications in a number of areas including skin rejuvenation, scar remodelling, skin tissue repair and wound healing, and surgical glues / sealants.
  • Professor Maree Smith – Maree developed the first orally active analgesic in more than two decades for neuropathic pain.

Guest speakers for this inspiring new initiative were Dr Alan Finkel AM FTSE, President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and Associate Professor Jan Tennent, Chief Executive Officer Biomedical Research Victoria.

Photos from this event are in the gallery below – click on a photo to view it in higher resolution.


Science Meets Business

Science Meets Business was held as part of Innovation Week 2015 on Tuesday, 1st December. This was a panel forum and networking event at the Melbourne Business School with leaders in the start-up and intellectual property space and early-mid career researchers. With a message of avid support for science and innovation from the Hon. Adam Bandt, MP, it was an upbeat night of bouncing ideas and learning entrepreneurial tips and savvy.

The concept behind Science Meets Business embraces the future of science in Australia – it aims to inspire young entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers and innovators to think outside the box and provide them the skills needed to drive innovation, lead their own businesses and create jobs of the future. Importantly, it also bridges the gap between academic research and industry to facilitate stronger collaborations.

Our expert panel members included Dr Mark Summerfield (Watermark), Daniel Mumby (That Startup Guy) and Renee Hindmarsh (Director of the Australian Technology Network of Universities).

Photos from this event are in the gallery below – click on a photo to view it in higher resolution.



As a part of Innovation Week 2015, Corazon Systems in partnership with Swinburne University launched the BRAINSTEM Outreach Program (Bringing Research And INnovation to STEM). In November 2015, students from some of Melbourne’s highly respected schools (Melbourne High School, Nossal High School, Avila College and Camberwell Girls Grammar School) participated in a research project with  scientists from Swinburne University.

The aim was to mentor and coach these teams (each school had a team of 4 students) and work on an innovative idea – with the help of their supervisor. The students worked in the labs at Swinburne University (Factory of the Future) on a project that addressed a specific problem and led to a definitive, demonstrable outcome (design/prototype).

Students shared their experiences and research outcomes:

  • We were inspired by the creativity and lateral thinking of some of our brightest young minds
  • Heard from four schools about their innovation and creativity in a STEM project
  • Found out how schools or organisations could get involved in the program
  • Participated in an open and honest STEM conversation with our panel
  • Learned more about BRAINSTEM 2016

This terrific new program will extend into more schools, universities and industry – consider getting involved!

A key event of the evening was a panel hosted by Michelle Gallaher (Co-Founder and Creative Director, The Social Science, Co-Founder, Women in Science AUSTRALIA). The panel had an open and honest conversation on STEM and what can be done to have our students be more engaged, interested and inspired in STEM, in particular girls in STEM.


  • University: Swinburne University – Professor Sarah Maddison, Dean of Science
  • Industry: Graeme Cross, Chief Technology Officer, Planet Innovation
  • Institute: Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Co-Founder Women in STEMM Australia
  • Education: Dr Sue Liston, Head of Science, Avila College
  • Government: Helen Gist, Senior Project Officer, Department of Education and Training


Finding Strategic Partners Panel Event

Who said Australians are rubbish at commercialising research?! The score board proves something different. This was a fascinating panel event with Hugh Alsop (CEO Hatchtech), Dr Kerry Hegarty (Business Development Director MDHS, University of Melbourne) and Tony Eglezos (CEO Starpharma), with discussion led by Dr Leonie Walsh, Victoria’s Lead Scientist. Held at the beautiful Royal Society of Victoria and hosted by Michelle Gallaher (Co-Founder and Creative Director The Social Science, Co-Founder Women in Science AUSTRALIA) we heard about some amazing deals which had recently been closed by the panellists.

Photos from this event are in the gallery below – click on a photo to view it in higher resolution.


Innovation Week 2015 Launch

Innovation Week is a new initiative led by the Australian Science and Innovation Forum in partnership with the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering with the support of the office of the Lead Scientist of Victoria, our sponsors and partners. The inaugural Innovation Week was launched by The Hon Philip Dalidakis, Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade at an exciting breakfast event hosted by BioMelbourne Network in Melbourne, Victoria on Monday, 30th November, 2015.

Expert guest speakers were Dr Elaine Saunders, Chief Executive Officer, Blamey Saunders hears, George Charalambous, Director at Curve Tomorrow and Dr Margaret Hartley, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Photos from this event are in the gallery below – click on a photo to view it in higher resolution.


Innovation Week 2015

The Australian Science and Innovation Forum is proud to coordinate the inaugural Innovation Week.

Monday November 30 2015- Friday 4 December 2015. GET INVOLVED!

Click here for the Innovation Week 2015 Partnership Package
Go directly to the Innovation Week 2015 Homepage.

2015 Science Innovators of Influence List

About the Innovators of Influence List

The Australian Science and Innovation Forum together with the Academy of Technological Sciences are proud to bring the first Innovators of Influence List. The aim is to recognise emerging innovators  in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and to recognise the growing community of innovators in Australia, as well as Australian’s innovating overseas.

The patron and envoy, is former deputy Prime Minster Mr Tim Fischer, AC.

Application Criteria

Applicants may be:

  • Teams OR individuals (NOT companies)
  • Australians based in Australia OR Non-Australian’s based in Australia OR Australians overseas.
  • Young innovators and female innovators are strongly encouraged to apply.

Selection Criteria

Recognition will be given to those who go beyond patenting and publishing and who are developing a new product, service or process that has financial, social or environmental impact.


The process is simple:

  • Nominate yourself or others (multiple nominations are possible)
  • Obtain the contact details for the nominee (eg website, email or contact number where possible)
  • Consider the reason for the nomination
  • Click on the link above
  • Nomination steps are explained in the application
  • Submit the nomination before the closing date
  • Nominations will be considered by ASIF and finalists will be selected by a panel of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) fellows and Clunies Ross winners
  • Selection will be made on the degree of impact of the innovation or start-up.
  • Female nominees are encouraged as there will be a minimum percentage included amongst finalists.
  • Finalists on the list will be announced during 2015 Innovation Week (30 November – 4 December 2015).

Applications Close 11.00pm AEST Sunday October 25 2015.


Innovation Week 2015 was convened by the Australian Science and Innovation Forum chaired by Dr Tori O’Collins.

Supported by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.



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