On the evening of 22 November 2012 around 75 invitees attended the final IAP function for 2012. The event took the form of a series of presentations highlighting AIBN’s industrial outreach activities and showcasing three areas of technology being undertaken within the institute. The presentations were followed by informal discussions over drinks. Attendees at the function included: UQ VC, Professor Peter Høj; the Member for Ferny Grove, Dale Shuttleworth, MP (standing in for the Minister for Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts, Ros Bates, MP); philanthropists John and Betty Ebsary (JEM Research Foundation); IAP members; representatives from other companies (including UniQuest and Uniseed) and the Queensland government; along with AIBN and UQ personnel.

The formal part of the evening commenced with a welcome from AIBN Director, Professor Peter Gray. Professor Gray highlighted AIBN’s focus on research outcomes and engagement with industry through initiatives such as the IAP. Professor Gray introduced Professor Høj, who described the link between academia and industry as being one of the keys to innovation and gains in productivity. He identified Germany as a country where such linkages have driven an economy based on advanced, high value manufacturing industries.

Professor Høj then introduced Mr Shuttleworth, who described his interest in, and enthusiasm for, scientific research. He noted the strong support provided by the Queensland Government and praised AIBN for its efforts to engage with industry.

Following Mr Shuttleworth’s speech, AIBN Deputy Director for Commercialisation, Dr Ian Nisbet introduced the three AIBN ‘showcase’ presentations. Professor Darren Martin described the nanocomposite technology from his laboratory that led to the founding of Tenasitech Pty Ltd, one of AIBN’s spin-out companies. Professor Martin described how the technology has a variety of potential applications, including scratch-resistant acrylics, which is the basis for an emerging relationship with local company, EGR Group.

Dr Claudia Vickers followed with a presentation on the biofuels project being undertaken in Professor Lars Nielsen’s group. She described how application of the metabolomics platform at AIBN is being applied to the conversion of Queensland sugar into fuels for the 21st century. Finally Professor Christine Wells provided an overview of stem cell research being undertaken at AIBN, including a description of the Stemformatics initiative that is providing a research tool for stem cell scientists around the world.

The three showcase presentations served to highlight not only the breadth of research being undertaken across AIBN, but also to demonstrate the institute’s focus on outcomes is delivering benefits to industry and society. Based on feedback during and after the event, attendees at the function were very impressed with what they heard.

Most attendees stayed on after the presentations for drinks and further discussions, which continued well after the anticipated closing time for the function. It was particularly rewarding to see that Professor Høj and Mr Shuttleworth stayed well into the evening and engaged broadly with the other guests. It was doubly rewarding that Mr Shuttleworth requested a follow-up visit to AIBN and followed up with a report to the Queensland parliament on his attendance at the IAP function.

Based on the success of this function, the AIBN executive has decided to make it an annual event on the AIBN and IAP calendar.

About IAP Events

Events for the AIBN Industrial Affiliates Program. Click on a past event to view the event report.