veski’s 10 year symposium: Smart Australia 2030

7 May

Leaders from research, industry, business, academia and government will gather tonight for a veski symposium at Federation Square to discuss key topics and formulate ideas for a Smart Australia in 2030, as part of veski’s 10-year anniversary celebrations.

With the National Commission of Audit recommending a drastic cut to a number of innovation funding programs and combined challenges facing Victoria from dying industries, a growing population and a changing workforce, it’s never been more important for these leaders to come together.

The veski symposium, being supported by the City of Melbourne and Federation Square, will be moderated by Jonathan Green, presenter of ABC RN’s Sunday Extra and will include a presentation by international healthy ageing expert and IVF pioneer Professor Alan Trounson, a founding director of veski and former chairman who is currently based in San Francisco.

Professor Trounson will be joined by global science leader and future energy specialist Professor Andrew Holmes AM, who returned to Victoria ten years ago as the inaugural veski innovation fellow. This month, Professor Holmes assumes the Presidency of the Australian Academy of Science and shares his insights into energy and new materials at the veski symposium.

Current veski chairman, Professor Snow Barlow, will bring a focus on sustainable food as the third speaker at the veski symposium and says identifying the problems and developing solutions for a 'Smart Australia' relies on the ideas generated through collaborations between research, industry, business, academia and government, which will be the focus of this event. 

Professor Barlow said, ‘We must have an open conversation with the community about the problems we are facing and we must develop ways to motivate and attract young people into research and innovation fields, to continue to have a competitive research environment in the future’.

‘There are many solutions that can be pursued, but it starts with having a conversation among leaders and determining what actions are realistic and what resources and investments are required. For example, there are many potential opportunities for Australia to deliver safe and quality food for the Asian market but we need community support to take the science and innovation approach to exploring these opportunities.’

'Creating an environment that encourages Australian talent, especially researchers and innovators, to stay in the country and not look to international opportunities to build their careers will keep the talent pool strong in Australia.’

Speakers and panellists represent some of the brightest minds in Australia and have contributed to significant research projects both in Australia and internationally. The presentations on healthy ageing, energy and sustainable foods by Trounson, Holmes and Barlow respectively will be followed by a Q&A with panellists including Mary Harney, Chief Executive, Geoffrey Gardiner Dairy Foundation; Silviu Itescu, Chief Executive Officer, Mesoblast; Alastair Lucas, Chairman of Investment Banking, Goldman Sachs Australia; and Madeleine McManus, Past Victorian State President, Engineers Australia.

The invitation-only event will be attended by more than 150 senior leaders representing the different sectors with the discussion based on a series of exploring-questions posed by attendees over the past few weeks.

For further information about the event and veski’s programs visit veski.org.au

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