Over the past 25 years the Clunies Ross Awards have recognised contributions by dedicated individuals to the application of technology for the benefit of Australia.
In recognition of the complex nature of such activities, from 2016 the Clunies Ross Awards are awarded in three categories, with a single winner in each category.
For those who have played a leadership role in the translation to a commercial enterprise with a financially successful outcome of a technology based product or service in which they have personally had a significant input in the inventorship/development of the technology. Such a person would typically be the CEO or a senior manager and may be working in either an early stage or mature company environment, with demonstrated impact for Australia.
For those who have been responsible for a technology which has been commercialised most likely by licensing with a financially successful outcome.
For those who have been responsible for the adoption of a technology of demonstrably significant potential, currently at a stage where the financial outcomes are yet to be realised and/or the benefits are of a measurable broad community nature.
The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) administers the awards and they are awarded at the annual ATSE Innovation Dinner during the ATSE National Technology Challenges Dialogue in June.
Nomination of candidates for the 2017 Clunies Ross Awards are now open. Submit a nomination.
If you wish to be notified when nominations are open, please sign up to the Clunies Ross Awards e-list.
Sir Ian Clunies Ross was a giant of Australian Science. Born in 1899, he was a visionary leader of our scientific community, and inspired all with whom he worked. He had a passion for science, and a talent for administration, a rare combination of skills which he applied in the service of many scientifc organisations.
Best known for his pioneering work in veterinary science, he waged a lifelong war against ignorance and fear, and left is with an enduring legacy upon which we can build for the future.
As a scientist he greatly advanced parasitology and disease control in animals and spanned the gap between Eastern and Western scientific cultures. As an administrator he was Foundation Chief of CSIRO's Divison of Animal Health, and in 1949 Chairman of the new CSIRO. As communicator he was a ceaseless champion of science and technology - understanding that the forces of ignorance imperil the application of science to the advancement of humankind. Clunies Ross died suddenly in 1959.
Originally founded in 1959 to perpetuate the memory of Sir Ian Clunies Ross, the Ian Clunies Ross Memorial Foundation promoted the development of science and technology in Australia’s beneficial interest.
In November 2002, the former Ian Clunies Ross Memorial Foundation was brought under the umbrella of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), securing the long-term future of the Clunies Ross National Science & Technology Award. It became known as the Clunies Ross Foundation, linking the Academy with the historic Clunies Ross name. The Foundation was established to honour Sir Ian’s name and continue his work.
The Foundation’s original Governors had recognised the need to support and encourage people who devoted themselves to applying science and developing technology to create new business, advance industry and solve community problems.
With this in mind, the Foundation established the Clunies Ross National Science & Technology Award in 1991. The Clunies Ross Foundation was disbanded in 2004 and the Awards are now administered by ATSE.
Please see Previous Award Winners for details of Award recipients by year.
A review of previous year's Awards can be viewed via the selection below:
Published: July 1998
Ian Clunies Ross was a remarkable Australian scientist who promoted a broad and generous vision for Australia. He was Chairman of CSIRO until his death in 1959 and Deputy Chancellor of the University of Melbourne. This fine and accessible biography reveals Clunies Ross as a gifted communicator who believed wholeheartedly that science could transform society for good ends.
For further information about this book visit Melbourne University Press
Published: August 1997 Hyland House
T: +61 (0)3 9696 9064
This is the first biography of the acclaimed figure, Clunies Ross, for whom a nation mourned upon his death in 1959.
Ian Clunies Ross: A Biography gives new insight into a man still honoured. In her masterly biography, Marjory Collard O’Dea says "Ian Clunies Ross was a pioneer, his research into parasites and wool production enabled Australia to ride on the sheep’s back".
The dynamic Clunies Ross, an architect of Australia’s scientific boom, developed a public profile as an orator, regular media commentator and senior government advisor.
As first Chairman of CSIRO, Clunies Ross oversaw its growth into a world-renowned scientific research organisation. He was not afraid to take risks and believed in letting the public know what CSIRO was doing. He even injected himself with the myxomatosis virus to show that it was safe for humans!
His phenomenal capacity for work and his far-sightedness earned him immense respect in the scientific and wider community.
He was knighted for his work in 1954. Revered as he was, Clunies Ross had his share of critics and detractors who saw him as an opportunist and populist. Marjory Collard O’Dea says " Ian enjoyed life. He had a strong but not compulsive sense of duty…he was formal but not pompous… There he was a bit above other mortals - independent, dashing, capable…well-informed, amusing, urbane…His standards were high, his vision wide. Always ready to give credit to others, he was hard on himself. He aimed at a place in history and thought he had missed. What he missed was the benefit of hindsight".
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