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Can research fix our pandemic problems?

Experts in research entrepreneurship discuss how turning research into publicly available products can propel us out of the pandemic.

What role can research-based innovation play in propelling Melbourne out of the pandemic and toward a bright future as an innovation hub?

‘Deep tech’, also known as ‘hard tech,’ is a term that refers to technology that is based on engineering innovation or scientific advances and discoveries that try to solve the world’s big problems. And, as Melbourne is home to some of Australia’s leading research institutions, crucial to Melbourne’s reputation as a deep tech hub, we’re asking how our city can create the right conditions for more and better research-based innovation, and foster the next generation of deep tech companies.

In this panel discussion, hosted by Translating Research at Melbourne (TRAM), hear from experts in research entrepreneurship about the power of research and how we can better support deep tech solutions to solve society’s biggest problems.

Fri 30 April, 67pm

Melbourne Connect Huband Digital HubCorner of Grattan and Swanston Street, Carlton
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Event Speakers

Andrew Rowse

Andrew is Program Manager at TRAM, Australia’s premier university-based research impact accelerator at the University of Melbourne. Andrew is also a startup founder and a faculty member at the Wade Institute for Entrepreneurship, teaching Garage Project in the University’s Master of Entrepreneurship. Andrew graduated from the University of Melbourne with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering before returning to study entrepreneurship at the Wade Institute. It was through a Wade Institute and TRAM mixer that Andrew Rowse met his fellow cofounders and made his debut in research entrepreneurship with ReCubit, developing a robotic device that will enable stroke survivors the world over to have access to affordable upper limb rehabilitation. Andrew has previous experience in events and marketing with companies such as Nike and Redbull.

Tia Cummins

Dr Tia Cummins is CEO and Founder of VR CORP, a technology startup that is making mental health care more accessible through the development of innovative digital therapies. Tia is a clinical neuroscientist specialising in military mental health, with a Ph.D. from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. With a career spanning military, academic and corporate domains, Tia is leveraging the technology startup space to drive innovation from the research lab into the hands of those who need it most.

Jason Monty

Professor Jason Monty is Head of Department and a Professor with the Fluid Mechanics Group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Melbourne. Jason is an experimental researcher in fluid mechanics and his expertise in ventilation has been sought after during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, Jason and a multi-disciplinary team from The University of Melbourne were responsible for developing a personalised ventilation hood prototype for Western Health in Sunshine, one of the key COVID-19 treatment centres in Melbourne’s West. Jason and his team created a prototype within 48 hours after being approached by Dr Forbes McGain, an intensive care specialist at Western Health, with a plea for a solution to protect staff and reduce infection risk. Within ten days of its first demonstration, Australian manufacturers were prepared to produce hundreds of units per week for clinical trials.

Rahul Khanna

Dr Rahul Khanna is a practicing psychiatrist and the Director of Innovation & Medical Governance at Phoenix Australia, the National Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health. His experience spans public and private sector clinical work with a focus on psychological trauma; academic research focused on emerging technologies and medical education; and leadership in the clinical, start-up and non-profit sectors. In addition to several clinical qualifications, Rahul has formal training in machine learning, leadership, philosophy, and entrepreneurship.


  • Accessible for low visionAccessible for low vision
  • Companion card acceptableCompanion card acceptable
  • guide dogs and service animalsDog guides and service animals
  • wheelchair accessibleWheelchair accessible
  • Some prior knowledge
  • Assistive listening systemsAssistive listening systems
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