Briefing on changes to veski innovation fellowships

15 September

On Monday, 8 September 2014 more than 30 senior representatives from Victorian institutions attended a veski innovation fellowships briefing session at the Investment Centre Victoria. 

The event was hosted by veski’s chairman Professor Snow Barlow and chief executive officer Ms Julia L Page and provided potential host organisations for future veski innovation fellows with an overview of the changes to the veski innovation fellowships for 2014 and beyond. 

As part of veski’s chief executive officer’s presentation the three key changes to the fellowships program were highlighted for the next call for applications. These included:

  • As part of veski’s commitment to achieve 50 per cent participation by women in all programs & activities veski is actively seeking applications from female candidates who satisfy the key criteria and veski will be looking to host organisations to search the world for worthy female candidates and submit high quality applications;
  • veski has introduced three new areas of scientific endeavour which are food science, bioengineering and energy technologies. Each of these are extremely important areas for Victoria’s innovative future and every Victorian has a critical role to play in developing them;
  • veski has changed the requirements of the host organisation’s cash component as part of the matched cash and in-kind funding. The cash component from the host organisation must be over and above any salary contributions previously identified as the cash component.

Other presenters included veski director and science committee member Professor Ian Smith who shared his insights into what veski is looking for in an ideal candidate. 

A panel discussion was moderated Ms Julia L Page with current host organisation directors, Professor Rob Shepherd of the Bionics Institute and Professor Lee Astheimer of Deakin University, and their colleagues and veski innovation fellows Professor Colette McKay and Professor Tiffany Walsh respectively. 

The panel discussion provided attendees with an insight into the benefits of hosting a veski innovation fellow, the key responsibilities for a host organisation including cash and in-kind support, and the application process for a host organisation and a fellow.

Following the panel discussion, a representative from Swinburne University asked whether there was an opportunity for the veski innovation fellowships to focus on other aspects of innovation beyond traditional research. This was supported by additional comments from representatives of RMIT University and Deakin University.

As a result of these discussions a veski conversation was scheduled for Tuesday, 30 September 2014 to discuss the question: ‘How can we stimulate innovation and commercialisation within the University sector?’.

This conversation will be stimulated by comments from Dr Alan Finkel AM, Professor Alan Trounson and Professor Göran Roos along with other representatives of the business and academic sectors.

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