Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has amplified advice to the government on his “ideas boom”, appointing leading entrepreneurs and business chiefs from advanced manufacturing and dot.com companies to a new Innovation and Science Australia statutory body.
The organisation, chaired by venture capital veteran, Bill Ferris, replaces Innovation Australia and has broader functions. It will provide whole-of-government advice on “strategic innovation and science priorities and investment”.
The board includes leading advanced manufacturer, Dr Chris Roberts, who was CEO of successful bionic ear maker, Cochlear, for 11 years and is currently an executive of sleep treatment device maker, ResMed.
In a joint statement, Turnbull and Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Christopher Pyne said board members have a “proven record of success”.
Other members of the heavy-hitting board are: Maile Carnegie, Google’s Australasian boss; Scott Farquhar, founder of the booming recently floated software firm Atlassian; Seek co-founder Paul Bassat; and former Microsoft executive and venture capitalist Daniel Petre.
Australia’s chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel will act as deputy chair. Dr Michele Allan, chancellor at Charles Stuart University, has been reappointed from the Innovation Australia board.
Turnbull has made innovation a key plank in his agenda since taking over as prime minister, charging Minister Pyne with the development of the $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda.