The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) and the Industry Mentoring Networking in STEM (IMNIS) invites you to join us for Engaging with Industry South Australia. 

This event focuses on how, when and why researchers engage with industry, the importance of understanding commercialisation, milestones, timelines and budgets, developing strong professional connections beyond academia, as well as how developing an entrepreneurial mindset can facilitate resilience and success in any setting.

Keynote speaker Dianne Davidson AM FTSE will provide insights and learnings from throughout her career. 

Following the Keynote presentation, a panel facilitated by Dr Nathan O'Callaghan, and including special guest panellists, Dr Deborah Rathjen FTSE, Andrew Grant and Dr Mel McDowall will share their experiences engaging with industry across all facets of the industry pipeline. 

The IMNIS team is look forward to welcoming you all!

Event Details:

Friday 15th October, 8.00 - 9.00am Adelaide Time

To be held online, Zoom details will be sent upon registration.


Dianne Davidson AM FTSE

Fellow, Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering

Di Davidson has lived and worked in and around the Murraylands and Riverland region and most of the Murray Darling Basin for all of her life. An agricultural scientist from the Lower Lakes area, she has operated businesses in the viticultural and horticultural industries for 45 years, with an abiding interest in the sustainable management of soils, water and all natural resources. 

Di has worked closely on water policy reform issues since 2006,commencing with drought taskforce engagement in the Millenium drought. She served as a Member of the Murray Darling Basin Authority for 9 years, from its commencement, with responsibility for making the Basin Plan.  She continues to work on water projects and projects addressing adaptations to a warmingclimate . She is the Presiding member of the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board in SA. 

Throughout her career Di has chaired a number of private sector Boards and has strong governance and business experience. She was a councillor of the University of Adelaide for 12 years, for 4 of which she was the Deputy Chancellor (2013-2017). 

She is a Fellow of the Academy of Technology and Engineering and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agriculture Science and Technology; in 2015 . Di was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the wine industry, horticulture management and higher education administration.


Dr Nathan O'Callaghan

Director, Precision Health Future Science Platform CSIRO

Nathan currently leads CSIRO’s Precision Health Future Science Platform. Precision Health aspires to “Empower individuals to improve their lifelong health through: Enhanced knowledge, Customised health insights, and Optimised intervention strategies, Personalised health building plans…providing people with choices to act earlier.” A key aspect of this 5yr, $25M initiative, is to build new opportunities in Precision Health through detailed strategic consultation, collaboration and co-creation from across the health ecosystem. 

Nathan is as an innovative, collaborative leader in Health Futures. Since obtaining a PhD in Medical Science from the John Curtin School of Medical Research at ANU in 2007, he has developed broad experience within the innovation ecosystem, with success coming through a strong focus in developing multi-disciplinary collaborations; As a Science and Innovation Navigator, Nathan continually aspires to better connect Industry, Academia and Government. Over the past decade, Nathan has held several senior research management roles within CSIRO’s Health Business and is an active member on several Science Advisory and Research Committees. Nathan is passionate about how new science can improve the health and wealth of all Australians.


Dr Deborah Rathjen FTSE

Chief Executive Officer - Carina Biotech 

Dr Deborah Rathjen is a highly experienced and respected leader in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries within Australia and internationally. An immunologist by training, Dr Rathjen has extensive R&D experience in the areas of infection and immunity, inflammation, oncology and neuroscience, covering multiple treatment modalities. As well as heading up Carina Biotech, Dr Rathjen is currently Executive Chair of US-headquartered Bioasis Technologies Inc. She is also a member of the Australian Medical Research Future Fund Advisory Board, the Stem Cell Therapies Mission Expert Panel and the Federal Government’s Biomedical Translation Fund Committee.

Andrew Grant

CEO and Co-Founder - Trust Provenance 

Andrew has worked in technology and science commercialisation for more than 20 years including consulting, funding and co-founding numerous companies. Andrew has worked across genetics, medical devices, cybersecurity, environmental rehabilitation, renewable energy, fintech, photonics and many other fields, he is passionate about more Australian R&D being commercialised and more researchers engaging with industry to futureproof their careers and grow Australian industry.

Dr Mel McDowall

Senior Manager -  Defence AI Research Network

Mel is currently the Senior Manager of the Defence AI Research Network (DAIRNet), at UniSA. DAIRNet is an initiative of the Department of Defence and aims to establish and sustain a community of AI researchers that work together in an environment that stimulates new ideas and knowledge and supports evaluation, testing and integration of novel technology into the Defence ecosystems. Her role within DAIRNet draws on her experiences in transdisciplinary research and operation roles.

Having worked with clinical and agricultural industries, Mel has experience with many steps in the "bench to bedside/farm gate/clinic" journey; including basic and applied research, business improvement, advocacy, contract management, territory management, and clinical support. She is also passionate about the communication of science and research and making it accessible to all. 

Mel has a PhD in Medicine (reproductive medicine) and an MBA from the University of Adelaide. 


Friday 15th October, 2021
8.00am - 9.00am ACDT

8.00amWelcome and Introduction
Scott Cummins GAICD - IMNIS Program Manager, Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering
8.05amKeynote Address
Dianne Davidson AM FTSE - Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering
8.20amPanel Discussion
Facilitated by Dr Nathan O'Callaghan - Director, Precision Health Future Science Platform CSIRO
Deborah Rathjen - Chief Executive Officer, Carina Biotech
Andrew Grant - CEO and Co-Founder, Trust Provenance
Dr Mel McDowall - Senior Manager, Defence AI Research Network 
8.50amQ&A Opportunity
Facilitated by Scott Cummins GAICD
8.55amClosing Remarks
Scott Cummins GAICD
9.00amEvent Close

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