ACTIVATE 2022 Symposium announced

Wednesday, 04 May, 2022

ACTIVATE 2022 Symposium announced

The inaugural ACTIVATE 2022 Symposium, focused on improving STEM pathways — from kindergarten to the workforce, has been announced.

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) said the event would be held from 25–27 October at the Sydney Masonic Centre.

The symposium will bring together over 500 high-level representatives from across government, business and academia in a first-of-its-kind event. It aims to help Australia meet the post-pandemic challenge of a burgeoning STEM skills shortage and to create a future-focused strategy.

The event will feature high-profile speakers such as Cathy Foley, Australia’s Chief Scientist; Alister Andrew Henskens, NSW Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology; Tanya Monro, Chief Defence Scientist; and Bernie Hobbs, ABC New Inventors presenter.

On the heels of the Australian federal election, ACTIVATE 2022 will focus on Australia’s opportunity to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and become a technological powerhouse driven by a clean and sustainable economy, skilled workforce and world-class research activity and commercialisation.

“By 2024, we need 100,000 more digitally skilled workers. By 2025, we need 40,000 more engineers. By 2030, up to 30% of existing jobs could be displaced by automation. We are unprepared for the future and the clock is ticking,” said Professor Hugh Bradlow FTSE, President of ATSE.

“ACTIVATE 2022 is an event designed to create a plan across government, industry and academia for a significantly enhanced technology workforce — informed by our country’s leading and emerging applied scientists, engineers and technologists.”

Kylie Walker, CEO of ATSE, said, “Now more than ever, we need the strength that comes with diverse perspectives. This is critical to recover from COVID-19 pandemic, respond to international instability and confront the already devastating impacts of climate change.

“Yet diversity in STEM remains a major issue. Women, culturally and linguistically diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are inadequately represented. We need diverse change-makers to help shape Australia’s future STEM workforce and meet these challenges head-on,” Walker said.

ACTIVATE 2022 will also celebrate the outstanding achievement of Australians across five prestigious award categories who are working in applied science, technology and engineering. The annual ATSE Awards will showcase the winners in an exclusive gala dinner event during the conference on the evening of 26 October.

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