Australia’s New Chief Scientist, Dr. Alan Finkel AO, started his three-year term on 25 January. The renowned engineer, neuroscientist, entrepreneur and philanthropist was appointed to the position back in the end of October by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Australia’s Chief Scientist provides high-level independent advice to the Prime Minister and other Ministers on matters relating to science, technology and innovation.
They also hold the position of Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Science Council to identify challenges and opportunities for Australia that can be addressed, in part, through science.
Dr. Finkel will be tasked with providing independent advice to the government on science, innovation and commercialization. He will also work to lift the profile of Australian scientific endeavor, both domestically and internationally.
Prior to becoming Chief Scientist, he was the Chancellor of Monash University and President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE).
Dr Finkel was awarded his PhD in electrical engineering from Monash University and worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in neuroscience at the Australian National University.
His passion to driving innovation and commercialisation comes from a personal commitment to these areas.
“My personal experience across research, business and STEM education will guide my ability to formulate relevant advice,” Dr. Finkel has stated, “We exist in a competitive international environment and to compete effectively, business needs science, science needs business, Australia needs both.”
Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne, welcomed Dr. Finkel into his role. He expressed his excitement in having Dr. Finkel working to drive Australian science and innovation.
“Dr Finkel has been a passionate advocate for Australian science and innovation for more than three decades. He is also one of Australia’s great entrepreneurs,” Mr Pyne said,
“Science, innovation and commercialisation are at the heart of the Government’s agenda and I am delighted we have a person of the calibre of Dr Finkel to lead the national conversation on the importance of science, innovation and turning great Australian ideas into great Australian products.”
It is hoped that Dr. Finkel's drive towards more commercialisation will bring a boost to both the scientific research sector and the Australian economy.
Image from Australia's Chief Scientist Facebook