Wendy York-Fess
Assistant Dean, Executive Director of CIRCLE (Center and Initiatives for Research, Curriculum and Learning Experiences)
Stanford Graduate School of Business

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Wendy York-Fess is the Executive Director for CIRCLE, a 50 person group that coordinates quantitative academic research support services, corporate data acquisition and curriculum development for the GSB faculty. As the chief architect of this new unit, Wendy has created an organizational structure to facilitate innovative and large-scale faculty-directed research. Prior to this position, Wendy was the Managing Director of Programs for Executive Education at the GSB.


She holds a B.A. with Honors, and Distinction (high GPA) from Stanford University and a M.B.A from Harvard Business School.


Wendy’s work experience spans from entrepreneurial (where she lead five companies from start up/early stage to sale/merger) to corporate (Bank of America and Bechtel Power Corporation).  She has worked in for-profit and nonprofit organizations, accumulating 20+ years of direct P&L responsibility, as well as an additional 5+ years as a venture capitalist, managing a private portfolio with a market capitalization of $100M.   Her specialties are strategic planning, change management and the development of highly effective teams.


Named a Legacy Ventures Encore Fellow in 2011, Wendy serves as a board member and advisor to three non-profits.




Speaking On:
INTERNATIONAL KEYNOTE: Structuring to support innovative academic research: Case study of the Stanford Graduate School of Business
Professor Jim Patrick
Senior Vice President, Chief Scientist, Head of Research

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Jim was a member of Professor Graeme Clark’s original Cochlear Implant Research Team (1975 – 1981) at the University of Melbourne, Australia, which invented the world’s first multichannel cochlear implant. In 1981, he was a founding member of Cochlear Limited, which is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions and where he is currently Senior Vice-President and Chief Scientist. im was a member of Professor Graeme Clark’s original Cochlear Implant Research Team (1975 – 1981) at the University of Melbourne, Australia, which invented the world’s first multichannel cochlear implant. In 1981, he was a founding member of Cochlear Limited, which is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions and where he is currently Senior Vice-President and Chief Scientist.

Speaking On:
KEYNOTE: What industry needs in a partnership for long-term sustainability
PANEL DISCUSSION: How do you reward your staff when entering collaborations with industry
Ian Smith
Vice-Provost (Research and Research Infrastructure)
Monash University

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Ian is Vice-Provost (Research & Research Infrastructure) and has responsibility for the oversight and management of the universities technology transfer and innovation activities, research alliances and research infrastructure as well as developing and implementing strategies to meet future university technology transfer, research, and research infrastructure needs. Ian is an accomplished medical researcher and is recognised as a leader in his field. This research has resulted in over 240 publications and many patents. Ian receives regular invitations to speak at international meetings, many as a plenary speaker. His research has had a direct impact on human health and has led to changes in clinical practice. Ian is a co-founder of a proteomics-based, publicly listed, biotechnology company and he continues to collaborate and consult widely with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Ian serves on six international editorial boards and over the years he has held office-bearing positions in a number of national and international societies and has had an active involvement in the organisation of numerous national and international scientific meetings.


Finally, he has held and continues to hold, a variety of national and international senior government and non-government advisory board/committee memberships.

Speaking On:
Working together to deliver industry focussed research and research infrastructure
PANEL DISCUSSION: How do you reward your staff when entering collaborations with industry
Anthony Murfett
General Manager Growth Centre
Department of Industry & Science

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Anthony Murfett has extensive experience in designing and managing large Australian Government funding programs and providing policy advice on industry and innovation policy, with a specific focus on elements that can improve the productivity and competitiveness of industry, such as collaboration.


Anthony is currently the General Manager of the Growth Centres Branch, within the Australian Government’s Department of Industry and Science. The Branch is responsible for sectoral industry policy and the policy, design and implementation of Industry Growth Centres, a key initiative in the Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.


Anthony has previously been responsible for matters such as policy advice on industry programmes such as the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme and for specific matters such as IP policy. Anthony has also been responsible for the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) programme and worked across a number of areas relating to industry and research within the Australian Public Service. This has included the Australian Research Council (one of the Australian Government’s Research Funding Bodies) and IP Australia (the Australian Patent Office).


Anthony has completed the Senior Executive Fellows Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and recently completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.

Speaking On:
Industry Growth Centres – Driving industry competitiveness
Joanna Batstone
Vice President and Lab Director

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Joanna L. Batstone, Ph.D., is the Vice President and Lab Director, IBM Research – Australia and Chief Technology Officer, IBM Australia and New Zealand. Most recently she was Vice President, Architecture and Technical Solution Design, IBM Global Technology Services, based in Dublin, Ireland where she led the worldwide GTS Specialty Services Areas for Storage, Security, Mainframe and Virtualization and Distributed Server Management with responsibility for the growth and technical vitality of the GTS architect community. She has held a variety of technical and business leadership roles in IBM’s Research and Development Laboratories.


Joanna was the Director for Distributed Computing in IBM Research in New York, USA, with worldwide strategy responsibility for Distributed Computing, managing the Research relationship with IBM Software Group’s Application Integration and Middleware team. She was the Program Director, Development, for IBM’s Sensors & Actuators business unit and a Senior Technical Staff Member, IBM Software Group. She spent 5 years as a Senior Manager for Solutions Development in IBM’s Healthcare & Life Sciences Business Unit with development responsibilities for IBM’s Life Sciences solutions for Pharma and Biotech. Before joining the IBM Healthcare & Life Sciences team, Batstone spent 11 years in IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY, in the Physical Sciences and Computer Sciences departments. Joanna has published over 80 papers and organized many industry conference symposia. She received a B.Sc., in Chemical Physics and a Ph.D., in Physics from The University of Bristol, UK, followed by postdoctoral work at AT&T Bell Laboratories, NJ, and a Lectureship in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Liverpool, UK, before joining IBM Research. She received the ’95 Burton Medal from the Microscopy Society of America, the ’91 Robert Lansing Hardy Gold Medal from The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society and the ’89 Cosslett Award from the Microbeam Analysis Society.

Speaking On:
What industry wants from a collaboration
Peter Hoj
Vice-Chancellor and President
University of Queensland

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Professor Peter Høj commenced as Vice Chancellor and President of The University of Queensland on 8 October 2012. Prior to this appointment Professor Høj was Vice-Chancellor and President University of South Australia from 1 June 2007. Before that, he was Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Research Council (2004-2007) and Managing Director of the Australian Wine Research Institute (1997-2004).


He was educated at the University of Copenhagen, majoring in biochemistry and chemistry, and has a Master of Science degree in biochemistry and genetics, a PhD in photosynthesis, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Copenhagen and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia.


Professor Høj is a member of the Australian Research Committee (ARCom), Co-Deputy Chair of the Strengthened Export Controls Steering Group, member of the edX University Advisory Board and in 2014 was appointed as a senior consultant to Hanban in the Oceania Region.


He served on the CSIRO Board 2011-2014, a private member of the Prime Minister’s Science Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC) from 1999-2004, and as an ex-officio member from 2006-2007.


He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and a Foreign Member (Natural Sciences Class) of The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.

Speaking On:
Identifying the realistic expectations you have of the partnerships
Beau Leese
General Manager of Strategy, Performance, and International

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Recently named as one of AFR-Boss Magazine’s Young Executives of the Year for 2013, Beau is responsible for the development and implementation of the CSIRO’s enterprise strategy and R&D portfolio investment, performance, organisational transformation and international development. He is a member of CSIRO’s Futures Group, Executive Management and Commercial committees, and works with CSIRO and client science and innovation leaders across a broad range of sectors. Beau is a former Director with Deloitte Consulting and in Deloitte’s innovation program, where he worked with business, government and University clients on strategy, innovation and performance improvement projects. He teaches a syndicated program in Business Innovation at a number of Australian Universities, and is Chairman and co-founder of Intersective, an award winning education technology start-up. Beau holds a Bachelor of Laws, Masters of Marketing, Certificate in Executive Leadership and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Beau is a regular presenter on innovation and has been a recent keynote speaker and panellist at events for CSIRO, CEDA, AICD and UNSW.

Speaking On:
PANEL DISCUSSION: How do you ensure you are aligning with the right partner?
Knowing what works in managing industry partnerships
Dr Daniel Grant
Head of External Research & Development Innovation

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Dan Grant is the Head of Pfizer’s External Research and Development Innovation (ERDI) group for Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. He is responsible for identifying, evaluating and managing collaborative and licensing opportunities that align with Pfizer’s Worldwide R&D strategies. Dan is also a member of the Pfizer Australia Country Medical Council and manages the Pfizer Australia Research Fellowship Program. Prior to joining Pfizer, Dan was a senior business development manager at Melbourne Ventures, a member of the Investment Committee for Uniseed and a Senior Business Development Manager for Biocomm Services. In these roles Dan was responsible for technology evaluation and commercialisation. Dan has sat on the board of a number of biotechnology spin-out companies, is a past Director of Research Australia, and currently a Director of the CRC for Mental Health. Dan has a Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Physiology and an M.B.A. He has more than 15 years experience in applied biomedical research.

Speaking On:
Knowing exactly what industry are looking for
Dr Darren Cundy
Director Business Development & Technology Transfer
University of Tasmania

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Darren completed a Ph.D in organic Chemistry at the University of Queensland the two years at the University of Florida as a post-doctoral student. Darren returned to Australia to take up a role with the CSIRO in Melbourne to develop novel agrichemicals.


His research position at CSIRO evolved over time to one that become increasingly responsible for the interaction with external clients and he broadened his skill base to accommodate the commercial aspects of R&D. Darren then took an opportunity to work as the Executive Offer to 3 successive CEOs in Canberra.


While in that role Darren completed a Master’s degree at the University of Adelaide in the Commercialisation of Science & Technology.


To put those skills into practice, Darren took up two back-to-back secondments working as full time investment manager in 2 Melbourne based venture capital firms, one specialising in early stage ICT and the other in life-science.


Darren returned to CSIRO to join their Business development and Commercialisation team. In that capacity as Executive Manager: Commercial Darren set up the CSIRO’s $16M AGP program and led 8 investments by the organisation into technology-receptive companies.


In the last few year of his career with CSIRO he led the licensing effort for one of the Enterprise’s high value technologies.


Darren was CSIRO’s nominee director on two CSIRO start-up companies. Darren then joined CIS, a Melbourne based consulting firm specialising in the higher education sector.


It was via CIS that Darren was introduced to UTAS and ultimately accepted his currently role: Director Business Development and Technology Transfer. In this role he is responsible for the development of transactions that involve the ownership or exploitation of the University’s IP and also for reaching out to external organisations to grow collaborative opportunities which increase the impact of UTAS’ research outcomes.

Speaking On:
Securing and managing ARC Industrial Transformation grants
PANEL DISCUSSION: How do you ensure you are aligning with the right partner?
Buzz Palmer
Chief Executive Officer

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Buzz Palmer is the CEO of STC Australia and a passionate technologist who enjoys mentoring early stage companies execute on their strategy and venture investment. Buzz is a dynamic business leader with a track record of entrepreneurial success in medical technologies and Biotech. Primarily, Buzz is focused on the translation of next-generation technologies, creating and leading innovative commercial and technology solutions into new markets. With experience from start-ups to large corporations across the EU, India, Arabian Gulf and Asia Pacific, he brings a global perspective on business, entrepreneurship, and product development. Identifying opportunities and creating partnerships, Buzz has been involved in the design, development and delivery of numerous products. With a background in orthopaedic regenerative medicine and microsurgery, Buzz is ideally positioned to strategically drive innovative clinical technology solutions that provide a significant impact on society. In his spare time, Buzz enjoys a good game of rugby or cycling the beach roads of Melbourne.

Speaking On:
PANEL DISCUSSION: How do you ensure you are aligning with the right partner?
Building strong relationships to share expertise & knowledge
Dr Steven Brodie
Open Innovation Manager
UNSW Innovations

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Steve is a Materials Scientist by training with research and development experience in large and small companies across Europe and Australia. He is passionate about creativity and innovation and for the past 15 years has used these skills within a university context. He is particularly keen to help young entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs develop the creative thinking and innovation skills they need to accelerate their careers. Steve is currently the Open Innovation Manager at UNSW Innovations, helping drive collaborative innovation partnerships between UNSW and society.

Speaking On:
EasyAccess IP: Giving innovation to the world
Linda O'Brien
Pro Vice Chancellor (Information Services)
Griffith University

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As Pro Vice Chancellor Linda is a member of the University executive with responsibility for development and implementation of Griffith’s information strategy and management of the University’s information services; including the e-learning and e-research services, the Library, University records management and University-wide information and communication technology services, systems and infrastructure. Griffith, a comprehensive research university of approximately 43,000 students, is uniquely positioned, providing all University information and technology services through a single division.


Linda has a Master of Public Administration, a Graduate Diploma in Library, Information Science, a Bachelor of Education and a Corporate Directors Diploma. She has substantial senior university management experience having worked in six Australian universities in a variety of roles, including Vice Principal Information at the University of Melbourne and Vice President (University Services) at the University of Newcastle.


Linda has published and presented in her field, both nationally and internationally, and contributed to a number of state and national initiatives, including as member of the eResearch Expert Working Group developing the 2011 national Strategic Roadmap for Research Infrastructure and Co-Principal Investigator for the Australian and New Zealand Horizon Report 2012. Linda is currently a board member of the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation, Chair of the Council of Australian University Librarians Research Advisory Committee and a member of the Queensland Public Records Review Committee.

Speaking On:
Using data to create innovation between university and industry
PANEL DISCUSSION: How do you reward your staff when entering collaborations with industry
Professor Brien Holden
Chief Executive Officer
The Vision Cooperative Research Centre

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Professor Brien Holden is a leading champion for research and the development of new and better vision care technology and products.


His contributions extend across research, education, public health and social enterprise. He has been awarded: an Order of Australia Medal for his work in eye health and vision science; the Schwab Social Entrepreneur Award for Africa 2010 at the regional World Economic Forum; and seven honorary doctorates from universities Africa, Australia, Canada, Europe and the US.


He has generated over $1 billion in research, education and humanitarian funds over the last 20 years and been described by Professor Earl Smith at the award of his Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters at the University of Houston as, “the most influential optometrist of our generation.”


His contributions have been acknowledged through a host of other national and international awards and honours, such as in 2010 the renaming of the Institute for Eye Research to the Brien Holden Vision Institute.

Speaking On:
How to secure funding with industry
Greg Spinks
Managing Director
Consulting & Implementation Services

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Greg has nearly 20 years of management consulting experience. He has consulted in the United States for nearly 3 years to predominantly Fortune 500 companies reporting directly to the Presidents of each client. He has worked for KPMG’s Advisory arm and since 1996 has been the Founding Director of CIS.


Over the past 5 years his primary focus has been assisting clients raise money from large government grants (where he has successfully raised $581 million), redesign organisations including implementing mergers, developing strategic plans both at a divisional, organisational and industry level, building business plans for new technologies, aligning organisations around customer needs and providing commercialisation/business development skills training.
Greg’s core expertise is leading large complex projects, helping to set the strategic direction of projects, chairing and facilitating workshops and project managing engagements.  Unlike most management consultants Greg is often heavily involved in the implementation of projects. This approach not only sees clients retain the valuable insights gained during projects it also helps to ensure that recommendations made are implementable.

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