Australian tech Nobel Awards delivered by Cicada Innovations


Friday, 08 December, 2017


Michelle chee cicada innovations

The Australian version of the Swedish Nobel Peace Prize ceremony has been hosted by Cicada Innovations.

The Nobel committee in Sweden was pleased to grant Cicada permission to use their name and recreate their prestigious event because of Cicada’s reputation as Australia’s primary conduit for transforming scientific IP and research into real-world commercial innovations that create lasting and significant impact.

The event was attended by more than 200 science, innovation and Nobel heavyweights, including Swedish Embassy representatives, Australian Nobel Laureates, Innovation Australia Chairman Bill Ferris AC, University Chancellors from Cicada shareholders (UNSW, ANU, USYD, UTS), federal and state ministers, and other titans of the VC investment and corporate communities.

“Just like Alfred Nobel’s original intention for the awards was to recognise those who serve humanity within their different industries, we will also be paying tribute to Australia’s most impactful innovations as they are in the process of being transformed into real-life applications that are expected to affect significant, global change,” said said Petra Andrén, CEO of Cicada Innovations.

The Cicada Nobel Gala aligned closely with the Swedish event, with a live feed to Stockholm linking both events, and the Cicada atrium imitating the Stockholm Town Hall in terms of menu, music and performances.

Nobel prizes were given to the Australian creators of technologies recognised as having the potential to ‘serve humanity’ and improve lives globally. Several of the technology breakthroughs being made by Cicada companies will also be unveiled across industry verticals such as agtech, medtech, spacetech and advanced materials.

The event was also designed to showcase the multitude of ways the promises of NISA are coming to fruition via Cicada initiatives, to highlight the increasing need for collaboration between universities, industry and government for continued realisation of its agenda on a national level.

Bill Ferris, the chairman of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), addressed the crowd, speaking for the first time about the soon-to-launch ‘NISA 2030’ and launching an Australian-first PhD placement program that will help to channel PhD students from Australia’s most prestigious universities, starting with the University of Sydney, into Cicada client companies.

This is expected to help overcome the skills shortage created by 457 changes, while breaking down the silos between universities and innovative start-ups needing to tap into their brains trusts to fuel their growth, which is something Cicada hopes can be realised on a wider, national level.

“While many of the goals of NISA are being achieved within our incubator, it would be great to see wider recognition of the urgency of research, government, start-ups, and industry working together to see Australia’s groundbreaking research and IP finding its way into bettering the everyday lives of real people across the globe,” said Andrén.

Ferris believes the Cicada Nobel Prizes will also become an important means to raise the profile of Australia within the global innovation and deep tech community.

“This will become one of the great calendar events in Australian innovation. Australia must be in the top 10 (for innovation) in the world by 2030, measured by any metric, and we need the noisy Cicada Innovations to make this happen,” he said.

Image courtesy of Cicada Innovations.

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