AIRG 50th Anniversary Meeting Program

Past Challenges and Future Opportunities

Leading local and international industrial research leaders present their ideas, emerging technologies and strategies for the future

Pullman Hotel, 65 Queens Road, Melbourne VIC 3004

Our summer meeting this year was one of celebration.  In November 2014 the Australasian Industrial Research Group reached a significant milestone of 50 years of operation.  

In 1964 the Australian Industrial Research Group arose out of a conversation between representatives from Mauri Bros. and Thomson Limited and CSR Ltd. The idea was to gather together managers of Australian industrial research on a regular basis in order to upgrade R&D management. Early members included Philips Industries, Kraft Foods, Parke Davis, BHP, Kodak and APM.  The American Industrial Research Institute Inc. (IRI) was discussed as the basis for the AIRG model.

Since this early meeting the membership of the AIRG has evolved to include large companies, SMEs, universities, CSIRO, CRC’s and other Research providers although the aim of upgrading R&D in Australia hasn’t changed.

The anniversary meeting was forward looking focussing on the future innovation strategies internationally, looking at emerging technologies and ways of funding technology and showcasing different linkage models both locally and internationally.

We also brought back several individuals whose membership spans the past 20 years and compared where we have come from but also looked for insights and where we are heading.

Tuesday 24 February 2015 


TOPIC - Setting the scene as it relates to the bigger picture, the economic future of the industrial research sector and the Australian Governments Science and Innovation agenda.

9:15 - 10:15

Opening Welcome from Leonie Walsh, President, AIRG

The Economic landscape for the industrial sector Prof. the Hon. Stephen Martin, CEDA

The Australian Governments Science and Innovation Agenda Susan Wilson, Innovation Australia

Morning Tea and Networking

Topic - An International perspective - Members of the World Federation of Industrial Research Associations present the Technology Strategies for their regions.

10:40 12:45

Session Chair: Ken Mirams

Michel Judkiewicz Secretary General, European Industrial Research Management Association (EIRMA)

Dr. Iee-Hwan Kim, Executive Deputy Chairman, Korea Industrial Technology Association (KOITA)

Mr. Seiji Oshima, Director General, Japan Research Industries and Industrial Technology Association (JRIA)

Edward Bernstein, President, Industrial Research Institute (IRI), USA

Gerson Pinto, President, ANPEI, Brazil

Panel discussion with international participants and Innovation Australia representative




Topic - Frontier technologies - Showcasing companies that have transitioned and grown their businesses through technology or business model innovations.

13:30 – 15:15

Session Chair: Greg Redden

DorsaVi , Andrew Ronchi - Evolving Sensor Technology from sport to the workplace

AWBell, Roger Lumley Automotive to Aerospace transition

AMAERO, Ben Batagol Complex Additive Manufacturing and Design

University of Wollongong, Prof. Gordon Wallace Helping SMEs break into Frontier

Industries Panel Discussion on Frontier Technologies

Afternoon Tea and Networking


Topic What have we learned and where are we heading? The session explores AIRG’s role supporting European collaboration and looks at how we have evolved as an organization and options for the future.

15:40 17:00

Session Chair: Leonie Walsh

Department of Industry and Science, Cameron Slatyer, Manager, International Science Strategy Section, Department of Industry and Science CAESIE; connecting collaborations between SMEs and Researchers across Australian and European geographies

How AIRG has evolved over 50 years, where is it heading and what do we need to get there? Panel (Errol Mc Garry, Ken Mirams, Greg Smith)

Meeting closes for day one Wrap-up by Leonie Walsh Afternoon/Evening activities

17:30 AIRG Annual General Meeting 18:00 Pre-dinner drinks

19:00 Dinner

19:45 Dinner speaker Edward Bernstein Industrial Research Institute, USA 2038 Futures Study Report

20:45 Presentation of 2015 AIRG medal for Technological Innovation

22:00 End of Day One


Wednesday 25 February 2015

08:00 Networking tea and coffee


Topic - Technology Linkages Exploring collaborations between industry and academia with some examples of new linkage models and future directions including a focus on entrepreneurship from the Netherlands.

8:30 10:15

Session Chair: Leonie Walsh
Keynote: Kees Eijkel, CEO, KennisPark Twente, Netherlands

Monash University: Professor Ian Smith, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research and Research Infrastructure) Future examples of Industry engagement

Dr Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface - The knowledge connection for business, UK, Knowledge connections between business and academia in the UK

Swinburne Global Design Factory, Anita Kocsis, Associate Professor, Director

Swinburne Design Factory, School of Design Panel discussion on Session Five presentations

Morning Tea and Networking

Topic Future Funding mechanisms Examples of new models of funding research from Venture Capital partnerships to Government funding to funding entrepreneurs.

10:40 - 12:30

Session Chair: Alexander Gosling

Keynote: New Victorian Government overview of Innovation agenda (Amanda Caples, Deputy Secretary, Innovation and Technology, Victorian Government)

Venture Partner, Brandon Capital Partners, David Fisher Medical Research Commercialisation Fund

Artesian Venture Partners, Tim Heasley, Partner New Venture Capital models Scale Investors, Susan Oliver Funding Entrepreneurs
Panel discussion on Session Six presentations


Topic Open for Export Examples of technology and business models being adopted by companies with a strong focus on capturing export business

13:30 16:00

Session Chair: David Varcoe

KiwiNet, Bram Smith, General Manager New Zealand perspective - Technology and business models for the Export market

Capstone Partners Pty Ltd - Kim Walker, Innovation in the dairy sector with a focus on export opportunities

Mondelez International, Angeline Achariya, Progress on Food Innovation Centre Panel discussion on Session Seven presentations

Meeting closes and summary Leonie Walsh