ignite innovation
Victorian universities, business and government collaborate to commercialise local smart ideas.

ignite is an exciting and ground breaking collaboration between the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the state’s leading universities and the Victorian Government.

ignite will position Victorian business and research as world leaders in innovation, new technology development and creativity.

ignite will bring together business leaders with universities in bespoke partnerships to research, develop and commercialise innovative products, services, business model and processes.

ignite is supported by the Victorian government and will confirm this state as the knowledge capital of Australia.

ignite upcoming events

ignite+Swinburne 19 February 2019 Space Tech - the New Australian Industry


Swinburne University - 19 February

ignite highlight videos - previous events

ignite+Deakin 10 October 2018 How artificial intelligence (AI) can stimulate growth and investment

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What is the impact of AI on business and manufacturing in particular? What does it really mean for Victorian business? There are many doomsday scenarios of human redundancy and economic collapse bu Deakin University sees the emergence of AI as undoubtedly a disruptor, but one that can be leveraged to enhance growth and job opportunities.

Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth industrial revolution and the trend of improved artificial intelligence (AI). automation and continued technological improvements.

Deakin's Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A2I2), led by Australian Laureate Fellow Alfred Deakin Professor Svetha Venkatesh and Professor Kon Mouzakis, is working with other research centres at Deakin to develop new technologies in AI with the aim of driving competitiveness through increased productivity.

Professor Svetha Venkatesh

Professor Svetha Venkatesh, Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Centre for Pattern Recognition and Data Analytics (PRaDA) at Deakin University. Professor Venkatesh was awarded an Australian Laureate Fellowship in 2017, the highest individual award the Australian Research Council can bestow, and was elected a Fellow of the International Association of Pattern Recognition in 2004 for her contributions to the formulation and extraction of semantics in multimedia data. Professor Venkatesh's research tackles a wide range of problems of societal significance, including the critical areas of autism, security and aged care. This research has led to frontier technologies in large-scale pattern recognition in big data and several start-up companies. For example, her work on using surveillance data led to the development of a "virtual observer" which was used after the 2005 London bombings.

Professor Kon Mouzakis

Professor Kon Mouzakis, Professor of Software and Technology Innovation at Deakin University and Director of the Deakin Software and Technology Innovation Lab (DISTIL). Professor Mouzakis is a decision support and software development expert with over 30 years of experience. He was also recently appointed as the Director, Australian Research Council, Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Digital Enhanced Living. This $5.8 million hub addresses the need for effective, affordable, scalable and safe in-home and in-residential care solutions using current and emerging sensor, interaction and integration technologies. In collaboration with the Alfred Hospital's Trauma Centre, Professor Mouzakis also developed the world first Trauma Reception and Resuscitation Decision Support Tool to minimise the number of errors made by physicians within the first 30 minutes of patient arrival.

Dr. Murray Height

Dr. Murray Height is co-founder and Chief Science Officer of the HeiQ Materials group, and CEO of HeiQ Australia Pty Ltd. After completing his undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering and mathematics at the University of Newcastle in 1999, Murray travelled to the USA on a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), completing his PhD in Chemical Engineering in 2003. In 2005, while a postdoctoral researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Murray co-founded HeiQ Materials, a spin-off company from ETH Zurich that today is a global business with more than 75 employees located in 10 countries. HeiQ is today a leading innovation provider to more than 150 International textile and apparel brands. Since 2013 Murray has been based in Geelong, Australia and in addition to establishing and leading HeiQ Australia has completed his Executive MBA at Melbourne Business School and is also an Adjunct Professor in the Institute for Frontier Materials at Deakin University.

ignite+VU 20 July 2018 Enhancing human performance through innovation in elite sports

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VU is at the forefront of cutting-edge initiatives in sports science. Through partnerships with organisations such as Western Bulldogs, Tennis Australia, FIFA and Athletics Australia, VU is changing the way player tracking, movement mechanics, skill performance, data analytics and training prescription can be used to enhance athletic performance and how we enjoy sport.

While the contribution of science to Australian high-performance sport has been prominent since the opening of the Australian Institute of Sport in 1981, the role of technology and analytics in supporting high performance athletes has never been more significant than it is today. New technologies and data insights are now having a profound impact on the contribution sports scientists make to athlete and human performance – but in what ways might this change the future of sport for spectators?

VU sports science experts discuss all this and more.

Professor Rob Aughey

Professor Rob Aughey is a world leader in the area of player tracking, a now ubiquitous aspect of professional team sports. At ignite+VU, Professor Aughey shared how his team is leading research for FIFA on the accuracy of player tracking systems and what’s next for athlete tracking.

Dr Alice Sweeting

Dr Alice Sweeting, a joint appointment between VU and the Western Bulldogs, delivers a range of customised sports science services to players and coaches at Bulldogs HQ. At ignite+VU, Dr Sweeting highlighted how technology can provide individualised training programs and monitoring for the players and how the data generated can be used to further enhance their performance.

Dr Karen Mickle

Dr Karen Mickle is a joint appointment between VU and the Victorian Institute of Sport where she is the biomechanist for Athletics Australia's middle-distance runners. As an expert in foot mechanics and footwear, Dr Mickle joined us at ignite+VU to share how she works with medical staff, coaches and athletes to help identify causes of injuries and get athletes back to peak performance.

Professor Damian Farrow

Professor Damian Farrow, a joint appointment between VU and the Australian Institute of Sport, is a world-renowned sports scientist in the area of skill acquisition. At ignite+VU, Professor Farrow shared how science is revolutionising tennis through VU's collaborative venture with Tennis Australia – the Game Insight Group.

ignite+RMIT 16 May 2018 Micro miracles: how nanotechnology can drive better health outcomes

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Nanotechnology – the science of developing materials or devices at a microscopic scale – is capturing global attention for its enormous potential to revolutionise healthcare, as well as computing, telecommunications and environmental protection.

From wearable electronics that detect UV radiation and toxic gases, to delivering drugs more effectively through targeted and controlled release, nanotechnology is driving major advances across medical science and disease treatment.

Join three leading experts from RMIT University for the first event in the ignite series as they highlight the exciting and rapidly expanding opportunities their breakthroughs offer businesses and the wider community.

You’ll also hear about RMIT’s rich history and pre-eminent role in advancing nanotechnology breakthroughs in Australia and beyond.

Drawing on 30 years' experience, RMIT is at the forefront of this field that manipulates particles one-billionth of a metre and often many hundreds of times thinner than a human hair.

From telecommunications to defence and data to health, RMIT is uniquely positioned to help industry unlock the massive opportunities from this micro world.

Distinguished Professor Arnan Mitchell

Distinguished Professor Arnan Mitchell presenting at the Victorian Chamber ignite+RMIT event on lab-on-a-chip research, bringing together electronics, fluidics and light on a single integrated circuit. These chips could revolutionise and simplify drug discovery, predictive toxicology and even environmental monitoring.

Associate Professor Madhu Bhaskaran

Associate Professor Madhu Bhaskaran presenting at the Victorian Chamber ignite+RMIT event on her development of transparent stretchable and wearable electronic devices. Her sensors have the potential to help the fight against skin cancer, and detect dangerous gases in mines. They could also deliver new technologies like flat optical devices, and smart contact lenses.

Professor Leslie Yeo

Professor Leslie Yeo presenting at the Victorian Chamber ignite+RMIT event on his development of a revolutionary new nebuliser that could one day deliver life-saving cancer drugs and vaccines, traditionally given by injection.

Our partners:

Victoria State Government
logo IP Australia
RMIT University
Victoria University
Deakin University
Swinburne University of Technology

For further information: info@victorianchamber.com.au or telephone: 03 8662 5206

Breakfast at an ignite event

Breakfast and networking opportunities with industry and academic representatives.

Engaging speakers

Engaging speaker presentations from experts in topics like materials science, AI and sport science.

Q&A panel

Post-presentation Q&A panel, allowing audience members to dig deeper into the opportunities presented.

State of the art venues

Engaged audience members exploring new opportunities while enjoying state-of-the-art venues like the MCG.

The program to “bring to market” Victoria’s huge resources of untapped potential was launched on 14 March at a function attended by university and state government leaders, prominent Melbourne business identities as well as Chamber board members and senior executives.

The Victorian Chamber’s Chief Executive Mark Stone AM said the initiative will encourage, foster and guide industry partnerships between Victorian business and the talent within our universities.

“We anticipate real commercial outcomes and benefits,” he said.

Deakin University Vice Chancellor, Jane den Hollander AO said the program offered Victorian businesses the unique opportunity to pursue ideas, work with universities to develop them, and connect with investors to turn them into commercial reality.

The program’s support partners are CSIRO and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.

Mr Stone said the initiative came at a time when Australia’s rate of collaboration between universities and business is disappointingly low.

“Annually only nine per cent of Australian small to medium-sized business bring a new idea to market,” he said

The program means that each year, for the next three years, the Victorian Chamber will partner with Victorian universities to stage an event showcasing, exploring and leveraging each university’s areas of expertise.

The series will begin with RMIT University in May followed by others including Victoria University, Swinburne University, and Deakin University.

“We will showcase to the world what we are famous for,” Mr Stone said.

The series aims to:

  • affirm Victoria as the knowledge capital of Australia
  • build partnerships and position Victorian business and research as world leaders in innovation creation, new technology development and creativity
  • encourage more Victorian business leaders to partner with universities to develop innovative products, services, business, models, or processes
  • create stronger links to other innovative economies
  • attract more students, lecturers and researchers from overseas to Victorian universities
  • attract more students, particularly women, to study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and
  • attract business and investment within Victoria

Mr Stone said Victoria is renowned for its smart ideas and innovative thinking.

“Think of the first flight recording system, perhaps better known as the “black box”, the invention of the cochlear implant, the revolutionary use of lithium as a mental health treatment and the development of polymer banknotes, “ he said.

“Even every carpenter’s and do-it-yourselfer’s cherished device, the electric drill. They are all Victorian”, he said.

Event series
  • ignite
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