News & Analysis

Victoria announces diverse Innovation Expert Panel to guide government on innovation and disruption

- February 12, 2016 2 MIN READ

Just a few weeks after announcing the advisory board of LaunchVic, the independent body taking charge of Victoria’s $60 million startup fund, Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis has today announced the launch of an Innovation Expert Panel, which will look to strengthen Victoria’s position as a leader in Australian tech and innovation.

The panel will analyse and provide advice to the Government about new models for innovation, emerging trends and issues, disruptive technologies, and their potential to impact business growth across all industry sectors.

To be chaired by Victoria’s Lead Scientist Dr Leonie Walsh, the panel features entrepreneurs with experience turning ideas into commercially viable products, as well as representatives across the education and private sectors. Appointed as the state’s first Lead Scientist in 2013, Walsh has more than 25 years of experience across technology leadership, with a strong focus on the development and commercialisation of technology.

Like the LaunchVic board, this panel is diverse, with an even split of men and women, honouring the Andrews Government’s commitment to having at least 50 percent female representation on public boards.

Dalidakis said, “This new Panel is not just about leading Australia on innovation, which we are, it’s about helping us become the number one tech destination in the Asia Pacific region. We are well on our way to building a very strong innovation system here in Victoria and this talented group of industry leaders will help strengthen our position as a serious global competitor.”

And serious about making Victoria the leader in Australian innovation the Andrews Government has continually shown it is, making move after move to bring global startups to Melbourne, keep local startups in the city, and build a plan for the future.

The Innovation Expert Panel and LaunchVic will be key to all three. With the panel tasked with advising government, LaunchVic’s role has been defined as strengthening and building the current operating environment of Victoria’s startup ecosystem. The organisation will do this through investment in core infrastructure, improvements in access to capital for local startups, advocating on Commonwealth legislation and regulation, and engagement in startup events, campaigns, competitions, and mentoring programs.

Here is the full Innovation Expert Panel:

  • Brett Adam, VP Engineering and Managing Director, Zendesk
  • Dr Joanna Batstone, Vice President and Lab Director IBM Research – Australia and CTO IBM Australia and New Zealand
  • Marita Cheng, Founder, 2Mar Robotics
  • Dr Kate Cornick, Managing Director, Rision
  • Tessa Herd Court, CEO and Director, IntelligenceBank
  • Mohinder Jaimangal, Director and Principal, Curve Tomorrow
  • Jonathan Jeffries, Co-founder, Onestack
  • Emily Lee, Managing Director, Mercer Capital, Non-Executive Director at TBG Diagnostic Limited and Managing Director, Lanka Graphite Limited
  • Adam Nowiski, Director (APAC), Nitro, Inc.
  • Dr Buzz Palmer, CEO, STC Australia
  • Dr Melis Senova, Founder and Chief Entrepreneur, Huddle
  • Kerri Lee Sinclair, CEO, QSR International
  • Chris Thomas, Managing Partner, Differential
  • Adrian Turner, CEO, Data61

Image: Dr Leonie Walsh.