Tech23 Impact Circles: Leaders & Contributors
Circle: Feeding 10 Billion People – Australia’s future food industries
A recognised industry leader and innovation practitioner, she serves on government, academic, industry advisory boards resulting in the launch of Victoria’s 2016 Food & Fibre Strategy. Angeline was invited to join the Regional Development Australia Melbourne East Committee and her input resulted in Melbourne East regional plan 2020 to increase the region’s economic output.
Circle: Medtech and Diagnostics – Building future resilience
Her expertise is in building tech communities and scaling new tech ventures as the CEO, advisor and/or board member. With diverse experiences spanning government, global corporations, universities, VC and startups, she brings a unique and broad skill set to the start-up innovation space.
Currently, she is the life sciences and tech investment specialist at Tattarang, one of Australia’s largest private investment groups. She also serves as an advisor to selected commercialisation and startup accelerator programs. Prior to this, she was the CEO and creator of Australia’s first deeptech incubator, Cicada Innovations.
After inventing the adaptive learning platform while doing his Phd, Dror founded Smart Sparrow, raised VC, scaled the business into the US and ultimately sold it to Pearson, the world’s largest learning company.
Seeing first hand what it takes to drive an idea through to exit, Dror is passionate about, advises to and invests in revolutionary, tech-infused startups that are tackling the world’s biggest challenges.
Dror holds a Phd in AI and Education and a BsC in Physics and Computer Science from UNSW. He is an Adjunct Academic at UNSW and a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University.
Michael J. Biercuk
Michael completed his Masters and PhD at Harvard University. After university, he held a research fellowship in the Ion Storage Group at NIST Boulder under the supervision of 2012 Nobel Laureate in Physics Dr. David Wineland. He has also worked as a consultant to DARPA, helping steer government investments in quantum information and next-generation computer architectures.
As one of the world’s leading authorities on quantum physics and technology, Michael is a regular contributor to both the technical literature and the popular press. He is a TEDx speaking alumnus and winner of the 2015 Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher.
Prior to joining ANSTO, Tim held Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation roles at UNSW including responsibility for the global Easy Access IP consortia which delivered a radical model to accelerate the transfer of IP into practical use. Tim has also held various knowledge exchange and technology development roles with Thomson Reuters (now Clarivate analytics), Johnson & Johnson, Avexa, AMRAD and University College London.
Dr James Brown
James is an experienced genetic engineer, who has helped catalyse the emergence of Synthetic Biology on the international stage. Prior to founding Bondi, James was the architect of a new wet lab facility at world-leading technical-consultancy Cambridge Consultants. There he took the technical lead on a range of projects including HT characterisation platforms, cell-free sensing & DNA data-storage, culminating in the successful authorship of Wikipedia in DNA.
James worked in Microsoft Research’s Biological Computation Group & spent time in Saudi Arabia, working to generate sustainable biomanufacturing solutions for global chemical producer SABIC. James served as National Programme Director for UK Synthetic Biology & was Secretariat to the UK’s Synthetic Biology Leadership Council, where he supported the implementation of the UK’s Strategic Roadmap in Synthetic Biology. He was an iGEM Ambassador during the formative years of the competition, and was Principal Advisor to the University of Cambridge iGEM teams from 2007 through 2010, including the award-winning E. chromi team in 2009.
James holds a PhD, MA & MEng from the University of Cambridge.
Prior to joining CSIRO, Michelle built a strong, international reputation for her studies in the structure and function of bioactive peptides, namely the cyclotides. Her research, often applying innovative approaches, has been widely published in high impact journals (ACS Chemical Biology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Biophysical Journal). Her findings have gone beyond reporting molecular structures to uncovering the evolution and development of these peptides (PNAS, Nature Chemical Biology, Plant Cell). She is the editor of the book Proteomics in Food Science: From Farm to Fork aimed at introducing the application of MS and proteomics to the food science and agricultural research communities.
Amelia has spent the last 20 years building products at leading digital companies including SEEK, Amazon, Lonely Planet and several successful startups.
Amelia is interested in how technology can be used to enable, support and grow the impact of people who are helping others.
Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte
He is director of Durrant-Whyte and Associates, an information technology consultancy firm. He works part-time for the University of Sydney as Special Advisor for the Western Sydney Strategy. He also works part-time for Rio Tinto as a Special Advisor, providing technical advice for mine automation and data science projects.
Professor Durrant-Whyte is a board member and non-Executive Director of the Defence Cooperative Research Centre for Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS-DCRC), and a contracted Special Advisor on data and artificial intelligence to Arowana International Limited, a venture company investing in training, traffic management and green energy companies.
He was a Professor and an ARC Federation Fellow at the University of Sydney from 2002-2010 and from 2014-2016, the Director of the Australian Research Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems and of the Australian Centre for Field Robotics from 1995-2010, and was the CEO of National ICT Australia (NICTA) from 2010-2014. From 2016-2018, Professor Durrant-Whyte was Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Ministry of Defence.
Professor Durrant-Whyte is an honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia (HonFIEAus), a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (FIEEE), a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE), a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS).
Martin continues to be active as an angel investor as well as in various advisor and mentor roles at Macquarie University, Sydney University and ON, Australia’s national science technology accelerator and as board trustee at the Computer History Museum, CA USA. Martin holds a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Sydney University.
She leads a number of key institutional partnership activities, strategic engagement events, business development opportunities and a wide range of programs designed to create change in global communities and to extend the University’s reputation and reach.
Dr Gallagher also leads the ongoing development of UQ’s Entrepreneurship Strategy. Encompassing high-level oversight of UQ Ventures – the umbrella brand for the University’s suite of entrepreneurial activities and programs – her leadership is expanding links with local, national and international entrepreneurship ecosystems.
Jessica is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in UQ’s School of Languages and Cultures. She holds a PhD in Comparative Cultural Studies from UQ and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Dr Gallagher is also a Director on the board of the Kokoda Track Foundation (KTF) where she provides expertise and support KTF to improving the lives and futures of Papua New Guineans.
Prior to his role in the Pioneer Lab, he was Acting Chief Pilot for Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore division and was primarily responsible for building capability in the use of drones for inspection and survey across 17 mines in the Pilbara.
He is a member of the Rio Tinto Global Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) steering committee. The Australian Remote Operations in Space and on Earth (AROSE) steering committee and frequently participates in aerospace forums with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and more recently the Australian Space Agency (ASA) and Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA) specializing in technology integration and lean regulatory frameworks.
Gavin has 20 years experience in the Mining & Construction industry. Gavin, his wife Jenni, and their son Lucas moved to Brisbane from Western Australia in 2019 where he continues to enjoy 4wding, film making and his love for flying.
Adam graduated with an Honours degree in B.Bus (Banking & Finance) from Monash University in 1994.
When he resigned from a 20-year banking career to pursue his lifelong passion in Space in 2015, Adam was based in Singapore as the Asia Pacific Head for Corporate Sales & Structuring in Global Markets at Citigroup.
While in Singapore, Adam started Gilmour Space Technologies with his brother James, working with the Singapore University of Technology & Design’s MIT-SUTD International Design Center on various space technology projects; and in 2017, they were awarded an R&D grant by the Singapore’s NAMIC to develop a 3D printer for aerospace carbon-composite parts.
Most recently, Ellen led the Commercialisation Function at the CSIRO, a team responsible for complex licensing and spinouts across all technology areas from medical devices and biotech, to advanced materials and clean tech. During her time at CSIRO, Ellen also managed the organisation’s equity portfolio, conducting capital raisings, managing exits and acting as nominee director on multiple spinout boards. Prior to CSIRO, Ellen was COO of CeramiSphere, a spin out from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).
Ellen holds an MBA (Distinction) from Melbourne Business School and a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Hons) from the University of Queensland. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD)
Dr Alex Grant
Dr Jemma Green
For over a decade Colette has contributed to our innovation community across startups, accelerators, corporate innovation and university R&D. Taking her learnings from her own startup adventures, she set out to help another 150 founders in Australia and Southeast Asia build their startups from scratch at a venture studio. She is a board member at Heads over Heels, an organisation which turbo-charges customer connections for women-led startups, and advisory board member for the School of Transdisciplinary Innovation at UTS. Having seen hundreds of patterns of success and failure she now leads the Startup team at AWS, working with founders and partners to grow the ecosystem and have impact at scale, at a company where it is always Day 1.
Sophia Hamblin Wang
Sophia is also a member of the ACT Climate Change Council, Curator of the Canberra Hub for the Global Shapers, and a Sessional Lecturer at University of Sydney, where she co-lectures and co-designed the undergraduate course International Business in Practice, now a cornerstone course for undergraduates in international business.
Andrew is a non-executive Director of Hazer Group (ASX:HZR), a listed clean tech and serves on the board of the Australian Research Council Centre for Robotic Vision. He was recognised as one of Australia’s 50 most innovative engineers by peak body Engineers Australia in 2016.
Nick holds a Master of Manufacturing from Cambridge University. He was R&D Director at Masterfoods & PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand. He was also instrumental in the set up of the 4th year Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation at UTS, a fellow of Cambridge University institute for manufacturing and has consulted to CSIRO and to the meat industry.
Dr Stefan Hrabar
During his time at Sirtex, David was responsible for managing the global operations team including production, logistics, customer service, and engineering. This included responsibility for the design, construction, and commissioning of Sirtex’s first in-house manufacturing plant in Wilmington DC, in the US.
David has a Masters in Business and Technology from the University of New South Wales, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Newcastle. David is a Chartered Chemist with the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and managed his own consultancy business before joining Oncosil Medical.
Her curiosity about the world has led her to travel to Spain for study, Thailand where she served as an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development (AYAD) in Human Rights assisting refugees and asylum seekers, Tanzania where she co-founded Zana and India where she meditated in the Himalayas. She also recently founded Bold Punjab to empower and unite bold South Asian women across Canada, India, Australia and USA.
Mara has a Bachelor of Science (Chemical Engineering) from University of Colorado Boulder and a PhD from the Harvard MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology in Medical and Chemical Engineering.
Andrew has strong experience in Asian private equity, and investment management.
His specialties include food & nutrition sustainability, Chinese inbound and outbound investment, venture and private equity transactions and energy geopolitics.
Passionate about finding applications with social and global impact and Ruth has devoted a lot of the past five years as a volunteer mentor for CSIRO Accelerator and other technology start-up groups. With a particular interest in data privacy and security and the ethics of data collection and analysis.
25+ years later, these threads amalgamate in Ruth’s current role as R&D Director at Practera which has her developing and commercialising deeptech, bringing together researchers in AI, data science and data privacy and security to develop ethical and secure insights to revolutionise online experiential learning and skills development to better prepare current and emerging workers for the challenges of participating in the 21st century workforce.
Qualifications include a Bachelor of Science degree and an MBA from the AGSM. He is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Current directorships include i-Cetana Pty Ltd (Chairman) and Renergi Pty Ltd. Other activities include co-founding a number of innovation community events including Univation and WestTech Fest.
Prior to ARENA Alex worked in Transaction Services at KPMG advising companies on buy-side, sell-side and capital markets due diligence.
As Founder of award winning circular economy company Close the Loop, Steve is particularly focussed on further expansion of the TonerPlas asphalt additives side of the business. Close the Loop was a finalist in the 2019 “Circulars” global awards by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Steve is an active speaker, panellist, and mentor and has multiple patents and awards. He says while the circular economy is not new, it is now urgent.
Mike is a Partner of CSIRO’s $200 million fund, Main Sequence Ventures. In his spare time, he writes a blog on startups and technology called startup88.com and builds cool things.
Sarah is also the host of the AgTech…So What? podcast, and co-founder of Farmers2Founders, a national innovation program that supports Australian primary producers to commercialise inventions and new businesses, as well as gain early access to emerging technologies.
Sarah holds a Masters in System Design and Management from MIT, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Human Factors Engineering from Tufts University.
Anne holds a Bachelor of Science (Physiology and Pharmacology) (Hons) and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government Executive Masters of Public Administration.
Dr Sarah Pearce
Sarah holds a PhD in X-ray astronomy from the University of Leicester and an undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Oxford (Worcester College).
She is currently the Deputy Director of CASS. Sarah has particular responsibility for CSIRO’s role in the Square Kilometre Array project, and manages CSIRO’s partnership with the SKA Observatory. She has been Australian Science Director on the SKA Board, and part of the negotiating team for the SKA Treaty.
Sarah also leads CASS’s Space Research Programme. This includes the CSIRO Centre for Earth Observation, which co-ordinates activity in EO across CSIRO and manages CSIRO’s share of our new national facility, the NovaSAR satellite.
Blackbird is a venture capital fund, based in Australia and New Zealand, that invests in every type of technology from software to space, unified by the biggest of ambitions.
By seeing great inventions every day that affect our physical world (and well-being), Natasha now feels like she ‘sees the future’.
Natasha’s startup experience includes co-founding and leading location-based and mobile marketing start-up (StreetHawk), and being the CEO of an organisation helping women tech entrepreneurs scaling for growth. Natasha is passionate about making new ideas – whether products, services or new ways of doing things – real, especially for Australia.
Natasha is continuing her adventures in early-stage tech companies as both a mentor at university incubators and accelerators, including Sydney University’s Incubate and UNSW’s 10X Accelerator.
Natasha is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Prior to Australian Red Cross Amanda has held senior roles developing and managing online products and marketplaces for SEEK, Yahoo, Lonely Planet & Sensis.
Amanda holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of Melbourne, a Masters of Marketing from Monash University and a Graduate Certificate of Social Impact from the Centre for Social Impact.
Rosanne’s in-depth knowledge of the nuclear industry provide the companies and businesses she works with a clear vision across the field and allows them to stay up-to-date with the dynamics of the industry.
For ANSTO she has led a range of strategic development projects, commercial contracting and technology transfer deals, focussing on delivering sustainable revenue and long-term business strategies. Rosanne operates with high integrity and has the ability to rapidly develop trust and rapport with partners. She is outcome focussed, always seeking to understand the customer needs and ensure that ANSTO delivers value to exceed their Expectations.
Her current role is responsible for the development of the IP portfolio, management and oversight of commercial and research activities.
Rosanne has also worked in executive roles in manufacturing, logistics, distribution and various service industries throughout her career.
For the past 25 years, Matthew has worked with hundreds of startups, small, medium and large public and private organisations; helping them to apply creativity, strategic thinking, new ideas and new technologies to traditional business challenges, successfully guiding these new economy business builders and disruptive innovators to greater heights.
Matthew is an intrapreneur himself having created five spin outs within larger organisations over the last 20 years, each with a focus on social innovation and impact. And enduring passion for empowering people to develop and mature their abilities to build companies, create jobs, distribute wealth and generate positive social impact has been the cohesive thread through Matthew’s career.
He has extensive commercial acumen and experience in startup venture creation with networks throughout the US and Asia. Prior to leading Activator at RMIT University, Matthew was the Founder and Executive Director of the New Venture Institute at Flinders University in South Australia. A highlight of this journey was in February 2018 when the New Venture Institute was named the top University linked accelerator or incubator in Asia Pacific by University Business Incubation (UBI) Global.
He performed his PhD research at the Space Systems Institute in Stuttgart on advanced guidance algorithms for application on future launch systems. He then worked on tactical weapon navigation algorithms and several work packages for the Australian Scramjet program. This was followed by further defence projects in Systems Engineering for capability development; stand-off and close air support weapon modelling; submarine design optimisation; and CFD analyses of aircraft stores.
In 2012 Dr Tetlow founded Inovor Technologies to work closer with defence and to develop nano-satellite technologies, with a particular focus on small satellite platforms, Space Situational Awareness, Earth observation and Remote Sensing.
Claudia’s early research interests spanned crop plant engineering, plant physiology, abiotic stress and the metabolic regulation of volatile isoprenoids. Over the last decade, she has focused on metabolic regulation of isoprenoid natural products in plants and microbes, and on developing synthetic biology tools for rational re-engineering of microbial metabolism for production of isoprenoids. Isoprenoids (terpenes) are a large group of natural products with many biological functions and diverse industrial applications. Since 2017 Claudia has led the CSIRO SynBioFSP, a highly collaborative $60 million R&D program aimed at expanding Australia’s synthetic biology capability and ultimately developing a synthetic biology-based industry in the nation. She was founding President of Synthetic Biology Australia and served on the expert working groups for Australia’s national synthetic biology roadmap (delivered by the Australian Council of Learned Academies) and the Australian government NCRIS Synthetic Biology Infrastructure Investment Plan, and is a Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Fellow. She serves on editorial boards for eight international journals, including as a handing editor for ACS Synthetic Biology and ASM mSystems. She has Adjunct Professor roles at Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University.
Claudia has worked with industry partners in a range of application areas to deliver industry-focused outcomes and provide consulting expertise. She has also acted as an advisor on synthetic biology and industrial biotechnology for Australian State and Federal governments and for a variety of international governmental and non-governmental organisations.
He founded GlyTherix to bring to market an innovative antibody for treatment of solid tumours from cancers such as prostate, bladder, pancreas and esophageal.
Dr Walsh has led the company’s scientific and business development, raising capital to bring the company to successful completion of a First-in-Human safety study of Miltuximab®, its lead compound. The company is currently planning a Phase1 trial to be conducted in Australia.
Dr Walsh’s career in biotechnology began with a PhD in protein chemistry. Over the following years he led research groups in government agencies, universities and hospitals and was a key part of the establishment of a major national research facility, APAF, before forming Minomic in 2007.
He continues to be active in research collaborations and academic supervision and was a joint recipient of one of Australia’s most prestigious science awards, a Eureka Prize, for Interdisciplinary Research in 2015. More recently Dr Walsh won first prize against a field of international competitors at the 2018 Innovation & Entrepreneurship Competition for Overseas High-Level Talents in Hangzhou, China.
He has co-authored over 100 peer reviewed papers and book chapters and six patents. He is also a mentor for the IMNIS Program and is the deputy chairman of the NSW AusBiotech committee.
Matthew Warren is a researcher in the areas of Cyber Security and Computer Ethics. He has received numerous grants and awards from national and international funding bodies, such as: Australian Research Council (ARC); Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in the United Kingdom; National Research Foundation (NRF) in South Africa.
Matthew Warren has taught in Australia, Finland, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
Prior to joining Blackbird, Samantha co-founded a Startmate Company, CapacityHQ, a professional services marketplace that I sold to LegalVision. Prior to that, she led Product and Strategy teams at SurfStitch.com after career-pivoting out of corporate law.
Mike’s expertise is in sales and marketing, business models and strategic partnering, and on the people side; executive recruiting/ performance management, board development and evaluation, and advisory boards. Mike’s transactional experience includes angel and venture financing, buy- and sell-side M&A, public offerings and restructurings.
Mike’s specialties include: Helping build early stage technology companies; with particular interest in applying new technology to industrial applications; SaaS, data analytics, machine learning, UAVs, internet of things, predictive analytics, smart grid, energy efficiency, demand response and load management.