Victoria’s Lead Scientist announced

30 July

Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher today announced that Leonie Walsh, who recently joined a veski conversation, has been appointed Lead Scientist for the Victorian Coalition Government.

Ms Asher said connections between Victoria’s scientific and research community and industry will be enhanced with the engagement of the inaugural Lead Scientist for Victoria.

“The Victorian Coalition Government made an election pledge to establish an Office of the Lead Scientist with a clear focus on the contribution that science and innovation makes to industry and economic development,” Ms Asher said. 

“I am delighted that Ms Walsh will be engaged in the role of Lead Scientist, given her experience in the management and commercialisation of research and her understanding of the importance of science and technology in driving business innovation and future success.”

Ms Asher said the Lead Scientist will work closely with key scientific roles in agencies from within Victoria and around Australia to provide strategic advice across the whole of Government on issues impacting on Victoria’s future. 

“Ms Walsh will be responsible for fostering linkages across the innovation value chain, including industry groups, academic organisations and other publicly and privately funded science and technology based organisations,” Ms Asher said.

“Ms Walsh will promote awareness in the community of the importance of science, technology and innovation in the state’s future economic, social and environmental wellbeing,” Ms Asher said.

Ms Walsh brings a wealth of experience to the role, having held senior R&D and product development positions internationally with Dow Chemical and locally with Visy Industries. In her capacity as President of the Australasian Industrial Research Group, Ms Walsh has led the development of new models for collaborations between small to medium enterprise and researchers around major technology challenges facing society. Ms Walsh is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

The Victorian Lead Scientist will be supported in the role by the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation, the state’s lead economic and regional development agency.

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