NICTA News CEO Message – March, 2015

Published on March 11, 2015

Welcome to NICTA’s very first digital edition of NICTA News – I really hope you enjoy the stories that our newshounds have put together for you.

It has been an eventful start to the year here at NICTA, with our annual technology showcase, Techfest, taking place in February to wide acclaim.  This was an incredible event at which Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivered an inspiring keynote speech to hundreds of Techfest guests about the importance of connecting industry to Australia’s research sector, and developing what he referred to as a culture of ‘creative insurgency’.  He also made a point of addressing the school students in the room directly, reinforcing the importance of studying science, technology and maths in order to build great careers for themselves and to drive the future economy in Australia.

NICTA hosted over 1,000 visitors at the event, making this our biggest Techfest ever. I am delighted to report that this number included more than 400 external visitors, 100 CSIRO guests, 150 school students, along with nearly 400 NICTA staff and PhD students.  The demonstrations of technology were truly impressive, and the feedback I have received from guests has been extremely positive.  Another highlight for me was the enthusiasm of NICTA staff in embracing our internal Techfest awards for operational and research excellence.  We received a record number of nominations, unearthing a depth of talent and commitment to excellence within NICTA that is simply outstanding.

NICTA start-up companies made a splash at Techfest too, with several of them taking out exhibition booths. One of them, Saluda Medical, announced at Techfest that it had won $10M in Series B funding.  Saluda really tells the NICTA story – smart people using cutting-edge research to drive innovation and build wealth. Congratulations to Saluda CEO Dr John Parker and his team.

If you click through to the Saluda press release, you might also notice NICTA has a brand new website.  If you have a few minutes, check it out and let us know what you think!

In my message in the last NICTA News in December, I mentioned that I would give you an update on the new NICTA model. Although a final structure has not yet been decided, we have made good progress, and are currently exploring the potential for closer ties with the CSIRO  beyond NICTA’s funding round which ends in June 2016. I will have a further update in the next edition of NICTA News.