• The Age Innovation Summit



The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has illustrated the importance of Australia’s sovereign capability and her investment in research and development which in turn leads to scientific breakthrough.

The Age Innovation Summit will look at how we succesfully translate that research and achieve commercialisation. We discuss what the key investments will be in the next 10 years and how individual states are lifting their sovereign capabilities.

Looking closely at the role Australia will play with technology and how that will determine her future.

Join us at the Langham Hotel Melbourne in Victoria to hear from our excellent speaker faculty that will include leaders, researchers and technologists as we navigate the days ahead through these challenging times.


The Hon Jaala Pulford MP
Minister for Employment
Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy
Minister for Small Business
Minister for Resources

Simon Phemister
Secretary, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Victorian Government

Eric Swift
Vice President and Managing Director, ANZ,

The Hon Gabrielle Upton MLA
Parliamentary Secretary to the NSW Premier

The Hon John Brumby AO
La Trobe University

Dr Larry Marshall
Chief Executive,

Rachael Neumann
Co-Founder & Partner,
Flying Fox Ventures

Professor James McCluskey AO
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research),
The University of Melbourne

Adir Shiffman
Catapult Sports

Dr Amanda Caples
Lead Scientist,
Victorian Government

Jon Whittle
CSIRO’s Data61

Sally-Ann Williams
Cicada Innovations

Niki Scevak
Blackbird Ventures

Didier Elzinga
Founder & CEO, Culture Amp,
Board Member, Tech Council of Australia

James Cameron
Airtree Ventures

Leigh Jasper

Dr Jens Goennemann
Managing Director,
Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre

Dr Rachel Thomas

Adrian Turner
CEO Fire and Flood Resilience initiative,
Minderoo Foundation



Welcome Remarks


OPENING ROUNDTABLE | Australia’s sovereign capability  

Australia’s sovereign capability is at the heart of efforts to navigate these challenging times in areas of health, defence and scientific breakthrough. Our opening panel will discuss;

  • Healthcare – our national missions and a $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund – what can Australians expect from this fund?
  • A Science Future Fund – a research translation fund that will ensure Australia’s scientific capability.
  • The role that State Governments can play in building sovereign capacity and the opportunities to build our economies through R&D commercialisation.

James Cameron, Partner Airtree Ventures
Bill Ferris AC, Chair, Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, Inaugural Chair, Innovation and Science Australia
The Hon Gabrielle Upton MLA, Parliamentary Secretary to the NSW Premier
Moderated by The Age


KEYNOTE |The trends driving Australia’s future: how work, life and business will change in the next decade

Millions of Aussie workers took part in the great Work from Home (WFH) experiment since the pandemic started, triggering the biggest social shift in the nature of work since World War II. It didn’t take long to realise we were on the cusp of a work revolution and monumental shift to hybrid working. But it’s not just how we work: the pandemic has transformed the world’s approach to technology and innovation, driving rapid change and new attitudes to embracing change. Join Eric Swift, VP and Managing Director, ANZ ServiceNow and Elisha Harrington, Innovation Director, Asia-Pacific and Japan at ServiceNow, as they discuss the future, and examine three trends driving change in the next decade:

  • Adapting to widespread and long-term hybrid working
  • Building resilience and trust through technology and accessibility to information
  • Leveraging technology to minimise the mundane at home and work

Eric Swift, Vice President and Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand ServiceNow
Elisha Harrington, Evangelist, Chief Innovation Office, ServiceNow


Steering Australia through the Valley of Death

As we emerge from COVID-19 and lay the economic foundations of our future, Australia will need to transform our industries to keep pace with global change. To remain competitive, we will need to steer Australia through the Valley of Death that separates an idea from impact, and an invention from commercial success. Dr Larry Marshall will discuss the global trends CSIRO is looking at to help guide Australia’s economic recovery, and why we need to reset our approach to innovation.

Dr Larry Marshall, Chief Executive, CSIRO


Morning break


Why Australia needs a climate adaptation strategy

Extreme weather events create devastating knock on effects for society, the economy and the environment and represent real commercial risk for corporations and government. These cannot be solved in isolation and are impacted by issues such as sovereign capability in a COVID restricted economy, and they require a whole of system approach. Climate adaptation interventions are now an economic imperative and should be part of every organisation’s innovation strategy and boardroom priorities. Adrian Turner will explore what innovation is needed to lift lifting societies’ ability to resist, transform and bounce back stronger from extreme fires and floods and adapt to climate change.

Adrian Turner, CEO Fire and Flood Resilience initiative, Minderoo Foundation



The Hon Jaala Pulford MP, Minister for Employment, Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business


ROUNDTABLE |Breakthrough Victoria Fund

Victoria’s $2 billion dollar innovation fund to specifically drive investment in research, innovation and commercialisation, with key industry sectors such as: health and life sciences, agri food, advanced manufacturing, clean economy and digital technologies over a period of ten years.

  • Will health be the biggest investment for the fund going forward?

The Hon John Brumby AO, Chair, Breakthrough Victoria Fund & Chancellor, La Trobe University
Simon Phemister, Secretary of the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Victorian Government
Dr Amanda Caples, Lead Scientist, Victorian Government
Professor James McCluskey AO, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), The University of Melbourne
Moderated by The Age


ROUNDTABLE |National ambition and start-up culture

Australian policy must support start-up culture with policy settings that will encourage start-ups to stay in Australia and recruit Australians rather than go off-shore. We discuss why current settings make it increasingly harder for Australians to start up their ventures in this country? Are policy hurdles not reflecting our national ambition.

Domm Holland, CEO & Founder, FAST
Rachael Neumann, Co-Founder, Flying Fox Ventures
Leigh Jasper, Chair, LaunchVic
Niki Scevak, Partner, Blackbird Ventures


Lunch break


IN CONVERSATION | Advanced Manufacturing in Australia

The COVID-19 crisis provided the right climate to enable collaborative opportunities to advance the manufacturing of essential items in a time of unprecedented need. It also provided opportunities to think outside the box. We deep dive into the future of manufacturing and what lessons from this crisis have informed the sector. What were the policy hurdles that were jumped in the crisis that need to be firmly in place to ensure future growth?

Dr Jens Goennemann, Managing Director, Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre
Dr Adir Shiffman, Chairman, Catapult Sports


IN CONVERSATION | The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Australia

Artificial Intelligence: Solving problems, growing the economy and improving our quality of life outlines the importance of action for Australia to capture the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), estimated to be worth AU$22.17 trillion to the global economy by 2030. What does that future of AI look like for Australia?

Jon Whittle, CEO, CSIRO’s Data61
Dr Rachel Thomas, Founder, fast.ai


ROUNDTABLE | Australia’s tech future

Recently Australian tech companies and technologists set up the Technology Council of Australia. The vision of the council is for a prosperous Australia that thrives by harnessing the power of technology. Boosting growth of the Australian tech sector by supporting talent attraction and development as well as developing effective regulatory settings for a tech-enabled economy. What can we expect in the next 10 years with the council? What else is Australia doing to stay on top of emerging technologies?

Sally-Ann Williams, CEO, Cicada Innovations
Didier Elzinga, Founder & CEO, Culture Amp, Board Member, Tech Council of Australia
Moderated by The Age


Close of summit & networking drinks


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All Informa events will be run according to official government and local authority guidance in the first instance, as well as any venue or location-specific regulations. In addition, Informa Australia will follow some key health and safety priority commitments as part of “Informa AllSecure“.

Full vaccination against Covid-19 is required for all in-person attendees.

IMPORTANT: For more information on Informa’s Vaccination requirement for all in-person attendees, our Event Health & Safety measures in place and Conditions of entryclick here.


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In Australia, we are committed to running our events in an environmentally and socially responsible way. Across Informa Connect we are focusing on the short and long-term sustainability impacts we have on customers and colleagues alongside the communities we work in.

We recognise that it’s not just about the way we produce our events and products but recognising that we have a role to play in providing a space to work in partnership together with our markets to inspire the sustainable development of the industries we serve.

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When & Where

Langham Hotel Melbourne
1 Southgate Ave,
Southbank VIC 3006
(03) 8696 8888

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