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David McClure

Powerful speakers readied for The Capability Papers

Australia’s chief scientist Dr Cathy Foley will deliver a lunchtime keynote address to The Capability Papers launch forum at Old Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday, an event that includes an opening address from Government Services minister Bill Shorten.

The Capability Papers is an 80-page, 65,000-word tabloid-sized newspaper that includes 36 position papers on issues of Australian capability from 45 authors from across industry and research.

The Capability Papers [Live] event brings together these industry and research leaders to present their ideas for building a stronger and more prosperous Australia. Final sale tickets for this launch forum and luncheon event for Thursday October 19 are still available here.

You can also pre-order your hardcopy of The Capability Papers here.

In addition to the chief scientist Cathy Foley, presentations include the Defence chief scientist Dr Tanya Monro, as the deputy chief scientist at the CSIRO Dr Jill Freyne.

The hardcopy papers include a superb contribution from former Australian chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel on the specific challenges for decarbonising the global economy. It’s going to be tough – but it is possible, he says.

“The hard part of the transition is more difficult than any deliberate undertaking ever previously contemplated,” Dr Finkel says. “The very hard part is diabolically difficult.”

“The hard part is the elimination of fossil fuels, collectively responsible for nearly three quarters of global emissions. The very hard part is eliminating emissions from agriculture, industry, land use change and waste decomposition,” he said.

All of this is possible, albeit via a very narrow path and a short timeframe. For industry and innovators, it is a call to action that highlights a tremendous upside.

Microsoft Australia director of corporate affairs Belinda Dennett meanwhile has written a paper that outlines the inputs needed to build a globally competitive digital economy – and to build a strong domestic technology ecosystem that underpins that digital economy.

Global technology players have an important role to play in the local ecosystem – and in helping Australian tech innovators and entrepreneurs to take their products to the world.

Several papers came from the national science agency CSIRO, including from the directory of its Manufacturing Business Unit Dr Marcus Zipper on the materials shaping the future economy.

The Capability Papers is wrapped up with Professor Michelle Simmons – the 2023 winner of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science – and her Pearcey Oration, an incredible deep dive into the manufacturing processes for building atomic-scale transistors.

Professor Simmons also outlines precisely why Australia is well placed in the fast-developing global quantum industry.

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
  • 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 for the support from 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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