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James Riley

Capability Papers: Bill Shorten to open LIVE program

The federal Minister for Government Services Bill Shorten will officially launch the 65,000-word, tabloid-sized Capability Papers publication at a special half-day forum and luncheon at Old Parliament House next week.

The Capability Papers includes position papers and policy ideas from some of the nation’s leading thinkers on innovation and research translation, from Australian Government chief scientist Dr Cathy Foley, chief defence scientist Dr Tanya Monro, and the deputy chief scientist at the CSIRO, Dr Jill Freyne.

Former chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel provides a stunning overview of the significant challenges (and underlying opportunities) of Australia’s national energy transition, while innovation ecosystem luminaries Professor Roy Green, Associate Professor Dr Marina Yue Zhang and Professor Mark Dodgson draw a roadmap for redefining the national innovation mission.

A limited number of tickets to The Capability Papers [Live] forum and lunch on Thursday October 19 at Old Parliament House are available here.

“The Capability Papers is our contribution to the national discussion about industrial development policy in Australia,” said publisher Corrie McLeod.

“As a project, The Capability Papers has sought to identify where Australia has deep expertise and a competitive advantage; where it needs to build a sovereign capability; and where the nation should deploy its resources and focus to maximise commercial and strategic outcomes.”

“Through a series of public forums aligned to the strategic priorities set out for the National Reconstruction Fund, we have sought the views of the nation’s experts about where Australia should focus its attention. The Capability Papers publication is the culmination of this work,” Ms McLeod said.

As Minister for Government Services, Mr Shorten is a key player in building Australian capability in digital delivery and digital skills development – the subject of at least four different papers in The Capability Papers, including from Senator David Pocock, from Agile Digital executive director David Elliot and Reason Group chief executive William Scheer.

Aligned with the opportunities presented by Pillar Two of the trilateral AUKUS strategic technology relationship, many of the papers cover dual-use defence/commercial technologies, ranging from artificial intelligence to quantum tech to hypersonics and lasers.

The Capability Papers [LIVE] forum includes presentations from the Ukranian Ambassador to Australia Vasyl Miroshnychenko on accelerated innovation in conflict, as well as from Michael Partridge, the general manager for innovation and strategic programs at SYPAQ Systems, a supplier of low-cost, flat-pack drones to the Ukraine. The papers also includes a contribution for Defence’s Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator (ASCA) chief Professor Emily Hilder, as well as Hypersonix founder and chief executive David Waterhouse.

Other confirmed speakers on the program include global artificial intelligence expert Professor Toby Walsh from UNSW; ARC Laureate Fellow and materials physicist Professor Marcela Bilek from Sydney University; and the Robotics Australia Group chair Adjunct Professor Sue Keay.

The confirmed speakers to The Capability Papers [Live] event include:

  • Bill Shorten MP, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Government Services  
  • Dr Cathy Foley AO, Australia Government Chief Scientist  
  • Professor Tanya Monro AC, Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist  
  • Dr Jill Freyne, Deputy Chief Scientist at CSIRO  
  • Ambassador Vasyl Miroshnychenko, His Excellency Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine in Australia and New Zealand  
  • Professor Marcela Bilek AM, ARC Laureate Fellow, Professor of Applied Physics & Surface Engineering at The University of Sydney, and Associate Editor – Journal of Applied Physics  
  • Professor Toby Walsh, Chief Scientist, Laureate Fellow and Scientia Professor of AI, UNSW’s AI Institute 
  • Professor Roy Green, Special Innovation Advisor at the University of Technology Sydney and Chair of Port of Newcastle
  • Adrian Beer, CEO of the METS Ignited Industry Growth Centre
  • Bronwyn Le Grice, Founder and CEO at ANDHealth  
  • Adjunct Professor Sue Keay, Chair of Robotics Australia Group and Robotics Technology Lead, BHP  
  • David Elliot, Executive Director, Agile Digital 
  • Frank Yao, Executive Director, Innofocus Photonics Technology 
  • Ben Constable, Managing Director Australia at Lumira Ventures 
  • Professor Miftar Ganija, Founder and Leader of USPL at DSTG/University of Adelaide  
  • Dr Warren McKenzie, Founder and Managing Director of HB11  
  • Kara Frederick, Founder and Managing Partner at Jekara Group  
  • Michael Partridge, General Manager, Innovation & Strategic Programs at SYPAQ Systems 
  • David Waterhouse, Managing Director, Hypersonix Launch Systems 

The Capability Papers is produced with the support of organisations and companies that see the upside of vigorous public policy discussion. We are grateful to sponsors including the Department of Defence, CSIRO, Microsoft, SentinelOne, ANDHealth, METS Ignited, Entech Electronics and Innofocus Photonics Technologies.

You can book your seat at The Capability Papers [LIVE] forum and lunch by clicking here.

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