Anyone connected with Accelerating Australia’s social media will know that this week we were in Adelaide for our 2018 National Conference, held as part of ASCEPT 2018.

The National Conference is a fantastic way for the Accelerating Australia team to come together and share our activites on a more national scale, with a larger audience. This year, we also aimed for workshop attendees to leave feeling inspired and excited for their future careers.

The day was kicked off by A/Prof Kevin Pfleger, Chair of the Accelerating Australia Executive Committee, who implored the audience to consider the impact of their research both for patient care and grant applications. 

Carolyn Williams guided the workshop participants through their own mini CERI bootcamp, focusing on finding your Why and helping participants to create a vision for the future. 

After lunch, course participants from each Accelerating Australia supported course showcased their projects:


Joost Lesterhuis, who won the second CERI Concept to Creation audience prize, presented Immumat, immune material to prevent cancer relapse after surgery. 


Hayley Cullen presented for her team, JR TeCH, who won the 2018 Perth Biodesign course for their wearable device to improve the provision of prostheses to lower limb amputees.


Vicki Thomson presented for her team, PDTech, who won the 2018 Adelaide Biodesign course. PDTech created a device for the management of Parkinson’s disease.


Mary Bebawy from UTS spoke about her technology, a liquid biopsy for diagnosing and monitoring progression of multiple myeloma. Mary represented the SPARK Sydney program.


Yen Kim from SPARK Monash presented a device that safely and accurately decompresses the chest to reduce preventable deaths in the severely injured.

The course participant showcases were followed by short presentations from innovators across Australia that have already been successful in working closely with industry to commercialise technologies. These included: Kiara Bechta-Metti – Director of Adelaide Enterprise, Anna Grocholsky – Director of Commercialisation & Innovation at Macquarie University, Buzz Palmer – CEO of The MedTech Actuator, Natalie Chapman – Managing Director of Gemaker, Chris Langmead – Head of Servier Drug Discovery Program, Alastair Stewart – Director of ARC Centre for Personalised Therapeutics Technologies, Robert McLaughlin – Chair of Biophotonics, CNBP, Maud Eijkenboom – Executive Officer for Accelerating Australia and Paul Rolan – Director of Innovation at University of Adelaide. 

Following his introduction of the SPARK Monash course and showcase, Prof Michael Wallach was awarded the inaugural Accelerating Australia ecosystem leadership award. 

Michael has supported and championed the SPARK Sydney course for several years and contributed significantly to the SPARK Monash course, flying to Melbourne frequently to run bootcamps and workshops. 

Michael’s passion for facilitating the translation of research in universities into real world patient benefits also led him to his role as the Course Director for the SPARK Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship course; a short, two-week program running alongside the SPARK Global meeting annually. 

Last but certainly not least, Prof Daria Mochly-Rosen provided the keynote speech to both close the Accelerating Australia workshop and open to the ASCEPT 2018 conference. As the co-founder and co-director of Stanford SPARK, Daria had a wealth of knowledge and incredible stories to share on the struggles and impacts of bringing a new technology or therapeutic to market. 


Prof Michael Wallach is awarded the Accelerating Australia ecosystem leadership award 2018. 

Prof Daria Mochly-Rosen gives the keynote presentation at ASCEPT 2018.

Share this: