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European Union (EU) Centre at RMIT University

Monday, 4 September 2017 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm (AEST)


Ticket Information

Type End Quantity
RSVP RMIT FUTURE CONFERENCE 2017   more info Ended Free  


Event Details

RMIT Futures Conference 2017: Research requires Collaboration

Horizon 2020 is the European answer to today’s challenges in research and innovation. Australia’s future in a competitive world depends on effective collaborative approaches – do we have the means for that? The RMIT Futures Conference 2017 will bring together policymakers, leaders in regional and Australian business, academics and pioneering entrepreneurs for a frank debate about the prerequisites to sustain high quality research and innovation in Australia and the collaboration within H2020.


Featured topics:
• Science, technology and the transformation of Australia’s economy in the global limelight
• Australia’s disrupted funding of international research collaboration
• Rotating exchange: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
• Future driving force of new industries like biotech, energy tech, health tech and e-health
• Collaboration between the private sector and academia in the global context
• Australia’s place in an innovative world: How can it compete?

Aspects generally considered as drivers for international scientific collaboration include:

• access to and acquisition of leading edge and complementary know how,
• sharing of the costs and risk with international partners, especially when large infrastructures are involved for basic science (e.g. particle accelerators) or product development (e.g. international communication networks),
• finding solutions for complex scientific and technical problems that could not be solved with domestic resources alone,
• access to funds from foreign institutions / programs
• access to skilled individuals that might have an interest in pursuing opportunities for research in another country (recruiting),
• access to endemic research subjects, such as natural or social phenomena, etc. which are limited geographically,
• a desire to influence regulatory regimes or standards.




- Bruce Wilson, Director of RMIT EU Centre

 Session 1: What is needed for international collaboration?


Dr Ziggy Switkowski AO, Chancellor of RMIT University, Chair of NBN Co

Business, Innovation and Science - immutable prerequisites for Global Competitiveness


Professor Ian Chubb AC, former Chief Scientist of Australia

Australia’s Science: Engagement in the Global context 


Mr Ken Sloan, DVC-Enterprise of Monash University University of Queensland


Institutional Strategies for International Collaboration 

10:30am - Morning tea
Session 2: How do we collaborate?


Patricia Kelly PSM, Director General of IP Australia

Australian universities’ International Collaboration viewed through IP rights               


Professor Peta Ashworth, Chair in Sustainable Energy Futures at the


Ways Europe benefits from International Collaboration


Dr Imran Ahmad, Director of Future Earth Australia

Global networks for Global Sustainability               

12:45pm - Lunch                                                                            

Afternoon Workshop

Session 3: Horizon 2020 and other European collaborative research programs


This afternoon workshop will include presentations and discussions about funding programs, as well as engagement strategies, and success stories.


Drs Martin Grabert & Rado Faletic, Montroix Pty Ltd

Christel Nolte & Tim Edwards, Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

MrJonas Rupp, Delegation of the European Union to Australia

Professor Shyamali Dharmage, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

Dr Phil Hodgson, Cilax Limited

Dr Kaja Antlej, School of Engineering, Deakin University and President of the Slovenian Australian Academic Association

Dr Aravinda Rao, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Melbourne

Dr Matt Wenham, Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering

Dr Adrian Collins, Chancellery Research & Enterprise, University of Melbourne

Dr Ziggy Switkowski AO, Chairman of NBN Co and the Suncorp Group, and a Director of listed companies Healthscope Ltd and Tabcorp Holdings Limited. He is Chancellor of RMIT University. Dr Switkowski is a former Chairman of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and Opera Australia. He has previously held positions as Chief Executive Officer of Telstra Corporation Limited and Optus Communications Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences, the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Dr Switkowski has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and PhD (Nuclear Physics).

Professor Ian Chubb AC is former Chief Scientist for Australia. Ian was instrumental in re-shaping Australia’s innovation system in the past several years, both as Chief Scientist and as Vice-Chancellor of ANU. As Chief Scientist, he was also responsible for the report “Health of Australian Science” report, which included significant attention to international collaboration issues. Prior to his appointment as Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb was Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University from 2001 to 2011. He was Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University of South Australia for six years and the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Monash University for two years while simultaneously the Foundation Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics for 16 months.

Ms Patricia Kelly PSM has been Director General of IP Australia since December 2013. Prior to joining IP Australia, Patricia Kelly was a Deputy Secretary in Commonwealth departments responsible for industry and innovation from 2004 -2013. Patricia has had a public sector career spanning over thirty years. Her experience in other portfolios includes the Department of Social Security and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.Patricia has served on a range of boards and committees, including the Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (2004-2009) and the Co-operative Research Centres Committee (2004-2013). Patricia will speak about findings in the latest Australian Intellectual Property Report 2017 as they relate to international collaboration. Patricia has a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in communication.

Mr Ken Sloan joined Monash University as the inaugural Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Enterprise) in 2017. In his current role, Mr Sloan is responsible for providing University-wide leadership and strategic support for industry partnerships, commercialisation, industry engagement, innovation and student entrepreneurship, employability and work experience. Prior to joining Monash, Mr Sloan was Chief Operating Officer at the University of Warwick. As COO, and was responsible for leading commercial and administrative support for industry engagement at the university. Mr Sloan was also instrumental in the development of the Monash Warwick Alliance, serving on its board.  Prior to his role at the University of Warwick, Mr Sloan was Business Development Director, Universities and Higher Education, with Serco, a FTSE 100 company.

Dr Imran Ahmad is the Director of Future Earth Australia, at the Australian Academy of Science, where he is responsible for leading and developing a global sustainability initiative in Australia and the Oceania region. He is the former Director of East-Asia and Pacific at the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in Seoul where he lead green growth initiatives in the East-Asia and Pacific region. He is a global expert on climate change and sustainable development and has been involved in leading climate change, energy, environment and sustainable development programs, policies and projects for over 20 years in the Asia-Pacific region. Imranhas a demonstrated track record of achievements in senior management positions in international organizations, United Nations and government. He has been a member of various United Nations expert groups.

Professor Peta Ashworth, Chair in Sustainable Energy Futures at University of Queensland. Peta has been involved in numerous EU initiatives, most recently the Horizon 2020 project Responsible Research and Innovation in Practice (RRI) (for which she has received H2020 funding). Other relevant EU projects include PACITA (Parliaments and Civil Society in Technology Assessment) and EPTA (European Parliamentary Technology Assessment).

About MONTROIX Pty Ltd  

Montroix Pty Ltd has assisted in developing this conference. They provide consulting services, advice and management related to international research collaboration, and are Australia’s foremost experts in Horizon 2020. They are located in Brisbane and Canberra, and can assist organisations from all sectors to make greater impacts through global interactions.


Have questions about RMIT FUTURES CONFERENCE 2017: RESEARCH REQUIRES COLLABORATION? Contact European Union (EU) Centre at RMIT University

When & Where

RMIT City Campus
Storey Hall Conference Rooms, Building 16, level 7
336–348 Swanston Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000

Monday, 4 September 2017 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm (AEST)

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European Union (EU) Centre at RMIT University

Funded in 2010 through a Grant from the External Relations Directorate of the European Commission, the European Union Centre is one of only six such EU Centres in the Southern Hemisphere. 

The work programe for the Centre focuses on three key objectives and five key components (PDF 69KB): Academic and research activities; Outreach and policy debate; Cultural outreach; Media engagement; and Coordination and joint activities with other EU Centres in Australia and New Zealand.


RMIT University and the Centre

The establishment of the European Union Centre at RMIT University is clearly aligned with a key element of the University’s strategic vision which is to strengthen RMIT’s standing as a truly global university, encompassing onshore and offshore education as well as international networks for research activities and research students.

Established in 1887 as the Working Man’s College, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology has an international reputation for excellent professional and vocational education, producing some of Australia’s most employable graduates and high quality outcome-oriented research. Read more about the history of RMIT University.

Situated at the Melbourne City campus, the Centre operates as an independent unit within RMIT University. This central, highly accessible location allows for prominent branding and provides a high degree of visibility to students, staff, international visitors and the public. Through its academic programme and outreach activities, the Centre links to the University’s existing infrastructure including research institutes, academic colleges and schools, business services and networks.

The Centre sits in the College of Design and Social Context overseen by the Pro Vice Chancellor of the College, Professor Paul Gough and has academic contacts in the other two Colleges to ensure visibility across the entire university.


Industry Engagement and Research

RMIT has an international reputation for excellence in work-relevant education and high quality research, and engagement with the needs of industry and community.

RMIT University also collaborates closely with both industry groups and individual businesses to develop new products and processes and to drive quality improvements in existing operations. It is through these partnerships that staff and student exchanges, secondments, training and long-term collaborative industry group associations are developed. European organisations partnered with RMIT include Airbus Deutschland GmbH, Daimler Chrysler, BMW, Volkswagen, Robert Bosch and Siemens.

It is through these links that the Centre will enhance the visibility of the EU, its research agenda, policies and partnership framework and further establish and consolidate links into existing Industry Network Groups.

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