Highlights of TIAC’s thirty sixth meeting – December 2016

The thirty sixth Council meeting, in December 2016 was held at the Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Joondalup. Members were welcomed to the meeting by Professor Steve Chapman, Vice Chancellor; Professor Cobie Rudd, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Partnerships); and Professor Margaret Jones, Director, Office of Research and Innovation.

Professor Craig Valli, Director of ECU’s Security Research Institute (ECUSRI) and Fellow of the Australian Computer Society, provided members with a summary of the SRI group’s principal research areas including: Digital Forensics, Cyber Security/Information Security, Critical Infrastructure Security and Human Security. Professor Kamal Alameh, Director of the Electron Science Research Institute and Professor in the School of Science and Research Project investor Dr Peter Pratten provided an overview of their recent project regarding a novel hybrid RF/optical catheter to improve safety and efficacy in atrial fibrillation ablation.

Councillors agreed that TIAC should focus on drafting a post-election briefing for a potential new Minister and/or Government proposing a practical advisory role to assist the elected Government which is suited to the 21st century.

Discussion was held on the New Energy Technologies and Economy project paper. The relevancy and complexity of the subject matter was acknowledged and it was suggested that a few key themes be addressed within the project paper; eg.The need to plan the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Key Actions

  • Secretariat to provide information of the opportunities and impacts of the new Limited Partnerships Act.
  • Secretariat to draft agenda for the follow up meeting with the Office of Science on Wednesday, 22 February 2017.
  • The Council to consider the structure of the new work plan based on information from the Strategic Focus Development survey.
  • Secretariat to progress an advisory paper on improving access to Commonwealth Government Grants.

Highlights of TIAC’s thirty fifth meeting – October 2016

The thirty fifth Council meeting, in October 2016 was held at the Make Place co-working space in Mandurah. Members were welcomed by Mr Rhys Williams, CEO, Make Place, to the meeting. Mr Williams provided members with a summary of Make Place’s initiatives, programs and events that are available to members of the Mandurah community.

Mr Williams highlighted some key challenges within the Peel region including high unemployment rates, homelessness, and domestic violence. This has resulted in Make Place collaborating with its partners and supporters to address these challenges.A key discussion point at the meeting included the need for more Government support to help establish similar establishments like Make Place which uniquely caters to the individual needs of its local community.

The Council agreed to distribute a 17 question survey to members and experts on a strategic focus for the WA economy in the next 20 years. Information received will enable a new Work Plan for the Council in the upcoming years.

The Operating Protocol which is an agreement of operation between TIAC and the Department of Commerce was updated and revised. The new Protocol is a more straight forward approach which has been implemented and involves the Commerce executive management.

Mr Farrant provided members with background information on the Cyber Security Growth Centre which is in addition to the original six Industry Growth Centres announced by the Commonwealth. The original Growth Centre initiative has $250 million in Australian Government funding over four years from 2016/17 to 2019/20 and is designed to develop a strategic vision to secure the long term future of the cyber security industry.

Key Actions

  • The Secretariat to circulate the Government’s response to the EISC Report amongst the Council once released.
  • TIAC to progress the New Energy Technologies and the Economy scope.
  • Secretariat to identify and circulate existing R&D grant summary from Commonwealth and university grant database for review of coverage.

Highlights of TIAC’s thirty-fourth meeting - August 2016

The thirty fourth Council meeting, in August 2016 was held at the National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) facility in Kensington. Members were welcomed by Mr Ken Fitzpatrick, Chairman, and Ms Gemma Crank, Executive Assistant NERA. Mr Fitzpatrick provided members with a summary of the current capabilities and future strategies for NERA. Mr Fitzpatrick informed members about the upcoming workshop scheduled for 7 September on operations and maintenance on oil and gas.

Mr Giles Nunis provided an overview of the WA Innovation Summit that was held on 28 July 2016 at the Pan Pacific Hotel. Mr Nunis advised that 250 people attended the Summit which generated 780 ideas and 150 action plans. A concise list of these ideas/action plans would be circulated to attendees in order for the ideas/action plans to be refined and prioritised. It is anticipated that an agenda for the key themes will be established and for funding to be allocated to each item.

Dr Jim Ross suggested that TIAC could provide occasional papers from time to time to ensure that TIAC’s work and deliberations are more readily available to the general public, and recommended this process for the final form of his paper ‘Comparative and Competitive Advantages’. In response to this, the Chair suggested that Dr Ross’s paper could be placed on the TIAC website and to invite public comment/discussion.

The Chair expressed his view that TIAC should be more proactive in approaching the Commonwealth Government in relation to funding for innovation in WA and suggested the need for TIAC to build the knowledge about Western Australia in the Eastern States and to gain greater understanding of the Commonwealth policy drivers. The Chair added that this greater understanding could be achieved through continued collaboration with TIAC, the Department of Commerce and the GCIO.

Key Actions

  • Allocate suitable TIAC funding for an industry cluster mapping exercise.
  • TIAC to consider how to assist the Minister for Innovation and the OGCIO once the feedback from the Innovation Summit is received.
  • Approval to publish the following on the TIAC website:
    • Comparative and Competitive Advantages Paper
    • Office of Science – Report Card
    • 2016-17 Office of Science – Strategic Plan and Key Deliverables
    • WA Capability Directory
    • WA Innovation Summit videos
    • Meeting 33 highlights

Highlights of TIAC’s thirty third meeting - June 2016

The thirty third Council meeting, in June 2016 was held at TechHub in Northbridge.

Members were welcomed by Mr Simon MacFarlane, Marketing and Communications Manager, TechHub, Mr Greg Riebe, Chairman, and Mr Ian Brown, Committee member of Perth Angel Investors to the TIAC meeting. Perth Angels (formerly WA Angel Investors), is a not-for-profit organisation actively engaged with start-up and emerging SME businesses to provide funding and mentoring support to selected innovators. Perth Angels is part of a network that operates nationally and internationally and provides opportunities for its members to assist entrepreneurs and while the Angels receive financial returns, they also support new industry opportunities, philanthropic rewards and personal benefits such as expanding peer networks. A key discussion point at the meeting included the role of Government to provide leadership to empower private sector investors and to provide assistance in enabling capacity building.

Professor Lyn Beazley provided members with an overview of her recent attendance at the first AGM of the South West Science Council held at the Edith Cowan University in Bunbury on 26 May 2016. Professor Beazley reported that:

  • Approximately 150 people were in attendance.
  • Topics included climate change, agriculture, aquaculture, the environment and human health.
  • Guest speakers included the Chief Scientist of WA, Science Council Chair, South West Catchments Council; Department of Fisheries, WA Country Health Service, the WA Museum and representatives from Edith Cowan University and Murdoch University.
  • A similar two day conference is scheduled for October 2016.

Professor Shaun Collin provided members with an overview of recent outcomes from the Premier’s Round Table Forums:

  • The Blueprint for Marine Services Initiative was launched through digital release on 21 June 2016.
  • Professor Collin provided TIAC with a copy of the WA Science Capability Directory which he said was comprehensive (but not exhaustive). This could be linked to the TIAC website once released online pending endorsement from the Office of Science.

Professor Beazley suggested to the Council that a TIAC meeting should be held in Mandurah at a new co-working and innovation space Make Place. Professor Beazley was invited on behalf of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia to chair the Women’s Leadership Group which was held in June 2016. The Chair requested that Professor Beazley circulate information relating to the event. WAITTA INCITE Award. The Awards have helped young autistic people to secure employment. The Chair requested that Professor Beazley circulate information relating to the Awards.

Key Actions

  • TIAC to draft a letter to the Minister on the new innovation agenda and TIAC reporting structures to ensure advice is available broadly across Government.
  • Ensure that the Generic Competencies project remains as one of the TIAC projects to be implemented post Innovation Summit.
  • TIAC support team to place the Stimulating Innovation report on the TIAC website.
  • Highlights of TIAC’s thirty second meeting –April 2016

    The thirty second Council meeting, in April 2016 was held at the Department of Commerce offices in West Perth.

    Members welcomed Ms Fiona Roche, Executive Director, Office of Science to the TIAC meeting. Members were informed about the current collaborations between the Office of Science, the Chief Scientist, TIAC and the Department of Commerce on a number of innovation and technology initiatives for the State.

    Ms Roche presented information on the fact finding trip undertaken with the Chief Scientist in February to Singapore which provided an insight into the government’s support for life sciences and broader medical research. There was an open discussion on the science continuum and acknowledgement that science and innovation are now becoming a coherent whole. In addition there was discussion on the Economics and Industry Standing Committee, the work done on marine management and pathways to translation of research.

    Members were informed that Mr Andy Farrant had met with Mr Steve Lieblich, CEO of the WA Angel Investors Network (now Perth Angels). Mr Leiblich provided useful background information regarding some of the road blocks that angel investors face plus some advice on the enabling role that the State Government can offer. It was proposed that the advice on roadblocks could inform a briefing paper to the Hon Michael Mischin MLC, Minister for Commerce. Members agreed that the WA Angel Investors could be invited to address the Council at TIAC’s June meeting and indeed host that meeting.

    Members were provided with a link to the Australia’s STEM Workforce report commissioned by the new Chief Scientist, Professor Alan Finkel which focuses on the importance of STEM education in Australia. ABS research has shown that STEM jobs have grown 50% more quickly than non-STEM jobs. The number of people with non-STEM qualifications has grown about 70% more quickly than the STEM-qualified population. This finding at the national scale confirms the WA data indicating selection of non-STEM subjects in both senior school and Tertiary education is to the ultimate detriment of those choosing the non-STEM pathway.

    Members agreed that TIAC should scope a project to examine a range of generic competencies. It was suggested that the Council could develop a Terms of Reference paper which would list criteria for priorities, available resources for the project and potential competencies based on the 5 Premier’s Science priorities and the 8 sectors in the recently released WA Science Capability Directory.

    Key Actions

    • Analyse the COAG papers to investigate the components of the national Innovation and Science Council as a reference for the structure and governance for TIAC.
    • Upload the Innovation Focus Briefing and a revised version of the Stimulating Innovation report onto the TIAC website.
    • Monitor the Community Resources Centre (CRC) initiative as it is developed further.

    Highlights of TIAC’s thirty first meeting –February 2016

    The thirty first Council meeting, in February 2016 was held at the Minerals Research Institute of WA (MRIWA) offices in East Perth.

    Members were welcomed by Mr Mark Woffenden, Chief Executive Officer, MRIWA, and members were informed about the delivery of projects, programmes and events.

    TIAC, MRIWA and Department of Mines and Petroleum representatives had productive discussions regarding the role of generic competencies that flow across the economy but also underpin the mineral sector, highlighting technologies such as sensors, spatial management and data analytics. Mr Woffenden mentioned that some natural resources management focus involving data analytics mapping was being undertaken by Curtin University, CSIRO and the University of Western Australia (UWA).

    TIAC Member Ms Driscoll, A/Director General, Department of Commerce, highlighted efforts by the CCIWA to identify the support networks that provide advice and services to high growth companies and start-ups. TIAC proposed holding discussions with the CCIWA to investigate if TIAC and Commerce could support the collection and use of this data within the eco-system.

    Members were informed that the Chair, Mr Alana Bansemer, Mr Andy Farrant and Professor Shaun Collin had appeared at the Economics and Industry Standing Committee (EISC) Inquiry into Technological and Service Innovation in Western Australia hearings to give evidence. This was held on Thursday 11 February. There was some confusion regarding jurisdictional responsibility for Venture Capital Limited Partnerships so TIAC provided a further letter of advice to assist the Committee.

    One of the key findings from the Innovation Focus Forum held in January 2016, was the importance of competencies that apply across multiple sectors and can assist with the application of a technology developed in one sector to another area of the economy. Computer graphics capability in the gaming sector could apply to medical visualisation, spatial data presentation and remote mine operation displays. TIAC continued to have discussions over complex matrix of competencies.

    Professor Shaun Collin provided members with a current status report on the development of the Blueprint for Marine Science 2050.

    Ms Driscoll noted that there was a national discussion in a number of fora regarding current regulatory approaches and the impact of traditional regulation on new disruptive technologies that are shaping the future economy. Regulations need to transform to a principle based approach. TIAC was invited to consider regulations that impact new technology deployment and the Department of Commerce could feed such information into the national discussion.

    Key Actions

    • Talk with Curtin regarding data analytics mapping.
    • Follow-up with the CCIWA regarding the innovation eco-system support networks.
    • Continue developing a position on the role of generic competencies in the economy and where WA has competitive advantages. Also consider how innovation and knowledge developed for one sector can be assisted to flow across the economy.
    • Consider the impact of existing regulations on fields with rapid innovation and technological change.

    Highlights of TIAC’s extraordinary meeting – Innovation Focus Forum – January 2016

    The extraordinary Council meeting, in January 2016 was held at the Department of Commerce offices in West Perth.

    At the thirtieth Council meeting in December 2015, members had agreed to schedule an extraordinary meeting to specifically investigate and consider what should be strategic innovation priority areas for government policy to focus on. The information from the meeting will then form the basis of advice that TIAC will provide to the Minister and the WA Government.

    The meeting attendees included the seven Council members, the Council Secretariat, two Department of Commerce staff, and three external experts. Prior to the meeting, opinion to seed discussion was sought from a further seven innovation practitioners and experts.

    The outcomes from the Innovation Focus Forum have resulted in the seven recommended focus areas listed below:

    • WA Government – Leading from the Front
    • Identify and integrate multi-sector generic competencies
    • Strengthen innovation and STEM skills
    • Strengthen innovation linkages
    • Encourage innovation across the community
    • Encourage innovation in the regions
    • Unlock private capital

    As a result of the findings and recommendations from the Forum, TIAC prepared a brief advisory paper Innovation Focus Briefing which was provided to the Minister for Commerce, Hon Michael Mischin MLC on 8 February 2016.

Page last updated at: 09:40 AM 20-Feb-2017