PRESENTED BY THE INDUSTRY & INNOVATION FORUM
Friday 1 October
Innovation Nation: Hearing Technology
How science led to Australia becoming a hearing powerhouse
Boosting the translation and commercialisation of Australian research has been a hot topic of conversation recently. But for those new to the game, it can be difficult to know how to get started. In the first of this webinar series, presented by the ATSE Industry and Innovation Forum, we take a peek inside the collaborative relationships of successful Australian innovators (from both the academic and industry sides). We’ll be providing their reflections and practical advice and examine what makes a successful, productive collaboration.
Australia’s hearing industry goes way beyond the international success story of Cochlear. More than three decades of collaboration between Australian hearing scientists, industry, government and entrepreneurs have led to hearing services and devices that lead the world. Learn how Australia did it, from how we train the very best auditory technicians to a government backed science-industry interface for the long haul.
Join us at this exciting webinar as we hear from Dimity Dornan (Hear and Say), Bob Cowan (The Hearing CRC Story), Elaine Saunders (Blamey Saunders) and Dig Howitt (CEO and President, Cochlear Ltd).
This webinar will be moderated by ATSE Industry and Innovation Forum Deputy Chair Dr Tony Peacock. The webinar will run for approximately 60 minutes with each speaker providing a presentation to our online audience followed by a Q&A session with the speakers.
This event is free.
Adjunct Professor Dimity Dornan AO FTSE
Executive Director, Hear and Say
Dr Dimity Dornan, AO is a bionics advocate, speech pathologist and researcher. In 1992, she established Hear and Say as a leading not-for-profit for deaf children learning to listen and speak, particularly with surgically implantable hearing technology like the bionic ear. She is the Founder and Chair of Bionics Queensland, member of University of Queensland Senate, of Queensland College of Arts and Sciences and also of Speech Pathology Australia. Dimity is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland, Adjunct Associate Professor to the Science and Engineering Faculty, School of Mechanical, Medical & Process Engineering, Queensland University of Technology and also to Griffith University Health. She has received a number of awards for her work.
Dimity is currently working to accelerate new bionics solutions to market for the benefit of people with previously untreatable medical problems like neurological, limb, sensory and organ conditions. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and chair of the ATSE’s Industry and Innovation Forum.
Professor Bob Cowan
Managing Director, The Hearing CRC Story
Professor Bob Cowan has led four successive CRCs from 1992 through to 2019, bringing together industry, universities, clinical services and professional associations involved in hearing healthcare. The HEARing CRCs were awarded some $100m in Commonwealth funding and over $3m in other competitive grants, as well as some $300m in contributions from its members. Outcomes from HEARing CRC’s research have supported Cochlear Ltd’s world-leading position, been licenced to most international hearing aid manufacturers, and led to cost-saving innovations now used in clinical management of hearing loss in both adults and children. Much of this research involved some 72 PhD students, who successfully completed their degrees and have gone on to careers in the medical industry and academic research. Through its commercial arm HearWorks, HEARing CRC translational research has now returned over $20m in commercial revenues, established 2 spin-off companies, and enabled HEARnet Clinical studies and HEARnet Learning to continue as legacy initiatives supporting hearing research and clinical healthcare in Australia.
Bob is Professorial Research Fellow in The University of Melbourne’s Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, an Adjunct Professor at Macquarie University, and Managing Director of HEARnet Clinical Studies.
Dr Elaine Saunders
Co-Founder, Blamey Saunders
Elaine has worked in hearing research and technology for forty years. She is Co-founder, Blamey Saunders hears, a company which supplies affordable, discrete and highly effective hearing aids through an innovative online telehealth service and clinic based in Melbourne. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology at Swinburne University, and a mentor to many other students. She is former Chief Executive of Dynamic Hearing a company which supplied award winning digital signal processing for ultra-low power chips for the hearing aid and telephony industry. Elaine also led the Cooperative Research Centre team that developed a new electrode for Cochlear Ltd, leading to the company gaining the Australian Design award in 2000.
CEO and President, Cochlear Ltd
Dig joined Cochlear in 2000 and has a wealth of experience across the Company in roles including Chief Operating Officer, SVP, Manufacturing and Logistics and President, Asia Pacific. Prior to joining Cochlear, Dig worked for Boral and Boston Consulting Group. Dig is a member of the Champions of Change Coaliton STEM group. He was appointed as President of Cochlear in 2017 and became CEO & President in 2018.
Dr Tony Peacock
Deputy Chair, ATSE Industry and Innovation Forum
Tony is the immediate past CEO of the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Association, a position he held for a decade, bringing together industry and academe to work together on applied research. Prior to his current role, Tony was CEO of two CRCs and one of Australia’s peak Rural R&D Corporations. He is a Eureka Prize winner for science communication, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company directors. Tony has played a major role in the critical issue in Australia of improving collaboration between industry, universities and other research organisations.