Which new technologies are having – and will have – the biggest impacts on the economy and the workplace? Has the pace of economic change really picked up – if so, why is productivity growth so low? What can policymakers do to accelerate the commercialization of Queensland and Australian technologies and the diffusion of global technologies while ensuring all Australians benefit? In the first of Grattan Institute’s 2017 State of Affairs events, Productivity Growth Director Jim Minifie was joined on a panel by Joanna Batstone, Dr Charles Day and Martie-Louise Verreynne to explore technology and the economy.
Jim Minifie directs the Productivity Growth Program at the Grattan Institute. His research focuses on developing policy to raise Australians’ living standards by improving productivity and accelerating the spread of innovations. Prior to joining Grattan in 2012, Jim spent 12 years with the Boston Consulting Group working with corporate and public sector leaders, including seven years as BCG’s Chief Economist for Australia and New Zealand. He has a PhD in applied economics from Stanford University.
Joanna Batstone, Ph.D., is the Vice President and Lab Director, IBM Research – Australia and Chief Technology Officer, IBM Australia and New Zealand. Previously she was Vice President, Architecture & Technical Solution Design, IBM Global Technology Services, Ireland, and Director for Distributed Computing in IBM Research – Watson, with worldwide strategy responsibility for Distributed Computing. Her IBM career has included a variety of technical and business leadership roles across different IBM Lines of Business, including Healthcare & Life Sciences, Sensors & Actuators, Physical Sciences and Application and Integration Middleware. Joanna joined IBM in the T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY.
Dr Charles Day is CEO of the Office of Innovation and Science Australia (OISA). He brings to the role a broad range of experience gained through a long career in innovation, business development, technology commercialisation, venture capital and start-up creation. Prior to his current role he was the Program Director for the Carlton Connect Initiative, an ambitious project to create Australia’s premier STEM innovation precinct anchored by the University of Melbourne. As CEO, Dr Day leads the Office of Innovation and Science Australia to support the Innovation and Science Australia (ISA) board’s development and implementation of long-term initiatives to boost innovation and science. ISA provides strategic, whole-of-government advice on all science, research and innovation matters. ISA’s current activities include the development of a strategic plan for the national innovation, science and research system to 2030.
Martie-Louise Verreynne is an Associate Professor of Innovation at the University of Queensland Business School. She holds a PhD in Management from Massey University in New Zealand and has worked at universities in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, where she has taught entrepreneurship and innovation to diverse audiences ranging from science PhDs to MBAs and undergraduate students. She is a recipient of the prestigious Australian Learning and Teaching Council citation for contribution to student learning based on her work in the area of commercialisation of high-tech start-ups. Martie-Louise has worked for the past 10 years with UniQuest on their research commercialization, CSIRO’s AcceleratiON project, and also with Queensland and Federal government, Brisbane City Council, Horticulture Innovation Australia and a range of other industry bodies.