Victorian Government sets up expert panel to boost innovation


news The Victorian Government has set up an Innovation Expert Panel aimed to boost the state’s position as an innovation and technology hub.

The panel’s members will provide analysis and advice to the government regarding new models for innovation, emerging trends and issues, disruptive technologies and their potential to impact business growth across all industry sectors.

Announcing the news at the PauseFest innovation event in Melbourne, Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis said the state government had secured some of the country’s leading innovators, company directors and CEOs – with women constituting over half of the panel’s members.

“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,” he said.

According to a statement from the office of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, two-thirds of the appointed panel are entrepreneurs with “experience in turning bright ideas into commercial realties”.

“They will share the table with some of the country’s key drivers of technology innovation from the university and private sectors,” the statement said.

Dalidakis added: “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.”

Chair for the panel will be the state’s Lead Scientist Dr Leonie Walsh, with other members including:

  • 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

The announcement of the expert panel comes soon after a delegation of US investors representing over a trillion dollars in investment capital met with representatives of Australian startups at the Victorian Parliament.

The investment roundtable – which was co-hosted by Philip Dalidakis, along with the President of the Legislative Council in the Victorian Parliament, Bruce Atkinson –involved discussions on how big superannuation funds can best invest in tech startups in the state and elsewhere in Australia.

Image credit: Office of Philip Dalidakis