Aussie “Deep Tech” In The Spotlight As Nobel Awards Come To Australia

By Women Love Tech
on 14 December 2017

Deep technology “super incubator” Cicada Innovations, hosted the Australian version of the Swedish Nobel Prize Award Ceremony, in celebration of Australia’s progress in science-based innovation from the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA).

The event was attended by 200+ science, innovation, and Nobel heavyweights, including Swedish Embassy representatives, Australian Nobel Laureates, Chairman of Innovation Australia Bill Ferris AC, University Chancellors from Cicada shareholders (UNSW, ANU, USYD, UTS), federal and state ministers, and other titans of the VC investment and corporate communities.

The Nobel committee in Sweden was pleased to grant Cicada permission to use their name and recreate their prestigious event because of Cicada’s reputation as Australia’s primary conduit for transforming scientific IP and research into real-world commercial innovations that create lasting and significant impact.

“Cicada Innovations is home to 200+ science and research heavyweights whose innovations, with zero exaggeration, have the potential to actually truly change the world,” said Petra Andrén, CEO of Cicada Innovations. “Just like Alfred Nobel’s original intention for the awards was to recognise those who serve humanity within their different industries, we will also be paying tribute to Australia’s most impactful innovations as they are in the process of being transformed into real-life applications that are expected to affect significant, global change.

” The Cicada Nobel Gala aligned closely with the Swedish event, with a live feed to Stockholm linking both events, and the Cicada atrium imitating the Stockholm Town Hall in terms of menu, music, and performances. Nobel prizes were given to the Australian creators of technologies recognized as having the potential to “serve humanity” and improve lives globally. Several of the technology breakthroughs being made by Cicada companies will also be unveiled across industry verticals such as agtech, medtech, spacetech, and advanced materials.

The event was also designed to showcase the multitude of ways the promises of NISA are coming to fruition via Cicada initiatives, to highlight the increasing need for collaboration between universities, industry, and government for continued realization of its agenda on a national level. Bill Ferris AC, the Chairman of the National Innovation & Science Agenda (NISA), addressed the crowd, speaking for the first time about the soon-to-launch “NISA 2030” and launching an Australian-first PhD placement program that will help to channel PhD students from Australia’s most prestigious universities, starting with the University of Sydney, into Cicada client companies.

This is expected to help overcome the skills shortage created by 457 changes, while breaking down the silos between universities and innovative startups needing to tap into their brains trusts to fuel their growth, which is something Cicada hopes can be realised on a wider, national level.

“While many of the goals of NISA are being achieved within our incubator, it would be great to see wider recognition of the urgency of research, government, startups, and industry working together to see Australia’s groundbreaking research and IP finding its way into bettering the everyday lives of real people across the globe,” concluded Petra Andrén.

Chairman of Innovation Australia, Bill Ferris AC, believes the Cicada Nobel Prizes will also become an important means to raise the profile of Australia within the global innovation and deep tech community: “This will become one of the great calendar events in Australian Innovation. Australia must be in the top 10 (for innovation) in the world by 2030, measured by any metric, and we need the noisy Cicada Innovations to make this happen.” The event was held on Thursday 7 December at the National Innovation Centre:


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