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Innovation Major Business Forum with The Hon. Wyatt Roy MP, Federal Assistant Minister for Innovation, Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist of Israel, Marita Cheng (via robot), 2012 Australian of the Year, 27 Nov 15


The Hon. Wyatt Roy MP, Federal Assistant Minister for Innovation, Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist of Israel, Marita Cheng (via robot), 2012 Australian of the Year in conversation with The Hon. Warwick Smith AM, Chairman, Asia Society Australia & Global Trustee addressed a Business Lunch for over 250 senior business executives in an interactive discussion around “A Path to an Innovation Culture – an Australian-Israel-Asia view”.

The last event of the year ended with a bang as the AICC partnered with the Israel Trade Commission and the Asia Society Australia to host an informative discussion about fostering innovation culture in Australia.

Having recently returned from leading a Trade Mission trip to Israel, The Hon. Wyatt Roy MP and Marita Cheng (joining us via one of her robots from Melbourne) emphasised that to create such an ecosystem – like Israel’s – we need to work at every level, from government to education.

“We’re going into a 25 year ideas boom”, said Wyatt who suggested the government’s upcoming release of its Innovation Statement will be an early Christmas present for entrepreneurs. Collaboration is key, especially for innovators, and having access to a country full of migrants enables Australia to leverage these globalisation capabilities.

While Avi Hasson agreed that Israel did have characteristics as a country that forced the opportunities upon them, Wyatt was quick to acknowledge that Australia had many similar traits. Embracing Australia’s biomed, computing and agriculture sectors is vital in ensuring we are using innovation to its full capabilities.

One of the key things that we can all do to help innovation and entrepreneurs is to truly celebrate, publicise and create role models for the younger generations to be inspired by. Suggesting that innovation and risk should be socially rewarded Wyatt ended in saying that “we should be deeply optimistic about this country’s potential, and we should celebrate what we are able to achieve. Watch this space!”.

The Hon. Wyatt Roy MP is an Assistant Minister for Innovation since September 2015. He has been a Liberal National Party of Queensland (LNP) member of the Australian House of Representatives since August 2010, representing the electorate of Longman.At 20 years of age, he was the youngest person ever to be elected to an Australian parliament. He also became the youngest Minister in the history of the Commonwealth, being appointed to the ministry at the age of 25.

Avi Hasson is the Chief Scientist of Israel since January 2011. The Office of the Chief Scientist (‘OCS’) in Israel is the government entity in charge of the execution of government policy for support of industrial R&D. Their goal is to assist in the development of technology in Israel as a means of fostering economic growth, encouraging technological innovation and entrepreneurship, leveraging Israel’s scientific potential, enhancing the knowledge base of industry in Israel, stimulating high value-added R&D and encouraging R&D collaboration both nationally and internationally. A variety of ongoing support programs developed and offered by OCS play a major role in enabling Israel to be a key centre for high tech entrepreneurship.

Marita Cheng is the Founder and CEO of 2Mar Robotics.  2Mar began by creating robotic arms for people with a disability controlled by iPhone, Android and two different head-gyroscopic interfaces.  2Mar is now working on a consumer-priced telepresence robot with robotic arm.

The Hon. Warwick Smith AM is Chairman NSW & ACT and Senior Managing Director of ANZ Bank; Board Director of ANZ Bank China, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Australian Capital Equity, holders of interests in Seven Group Holdings, West Australian News, Coates Hire, WesTrac and Caterpillar in Western Australia, NSW and North East China.  He is Chairman of the Financial Services Knowledge Hub and Advisory Council Member of the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce NSW.

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