Boardroom luncheon showcases veski achievements

10 July
veski chairman Professor Snow Barlow with Minister for Innovation Gavin Jennings MLC at the veski boardroom luncheon.
veski chairman Professor Snow Barlow with Minister for Innovation Gavin Jennings MLC at the veski boardroom luncheon.

veski chairman Professor Snow Barlow and the veski board hosted a luncheon event in July 2008 to showcase the work of its Innovation Fellows and veski's current strategies to a prestigious audience of philanthropists, venture capitalists and government.

veski ceo Julia Page said the event was a great opportunity to introduce the veski innovation fellows to the new Minister for Innovation, Gavin Jennings and to hear first hand the progress of their research projects. 

“The value of the Fellowships goes beyond returning scientists to Victoria. veski is proud to facilitate occasions such as these to provide the opportunity to introduce the veski fellows to the broader innovation community including key venture capitalists.”

The event was generously supported by Bell Potter thanks to veski director Lewis Johnson who is an advisor with Bell Potter Securities Ltd.  The 29th Floor boardroom provided a spectacular backdrop for this event.

New veski innovation fellow Professor Sarah Hosking outlined her project looking at the ‘anatomy and function of the brain in human Glaucoma’. Her project is a joint activity based at the Centre for Eye Research Australia collaborating with Professor Jonathan Crowston, Head of the Glaucoma Unit and Professor Graeme Jackson at the Brain Research Institute at the Austin Hospital.

Professor Marcus Pandy updated the audience on the development of his new technologies for the non-invasive assessment of musculoskeletal health, in particular the degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis.

Dr. Gareth Forde shared the diversity of his original research in vaccine technology and increasing the speed in which vaccines can be produced. He is now collaborating on research towards a viable malaria vaccine, developing an engineering strategy to generate bio-diesel from algae and applications for preventing inflammatory lung diseases. 

By the end of 2008, veski will have relocated eight veski innovation fellows to Australia, granted more than 15 veski awards and held as many as 20 events to raise community awareness across Victoria in the fields of science, design and innovative technology using the endowment funds from the Victorian Government.

The Minister for Innovation, Gavin Jennings told the gathering, “Our focus on creating world-class research infrastructure and a supportive climate for science, technology and innovation is turning the brain drain into a brain gain."

veski chairman Professor Snow Barlow said it is clear from the work of existing veski innovation fellows that the returns to Victoria from the original financial investment are paying off.

“To date the return on investment is 15:1 which is a wonderful achievement.”

“The Board event also showcased veski's unique ability to facilitate vibrant discussions directly with the Minister about commercial outcomes in science that might be possible in Victoria and Australia.”

Professor Barlow said it was a pleasure to hear first hand, the Minister’s thoughts on the future directions for innovation in Victoria.

He said the Government is very keen to compliment its strong base in biotechnologies, in particular, medical biotechnologies, to develop a strong base in environmental and water conservation research with regard to climate change and products that may be required in those areas.

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