Innovation roundtable at Questacon

CANBERRA students joined leaders in global technology, Australian researchers and government officials yesterday for the first Ambassador’s Innovation Roundtable, hosted by Questacon.

Over 45 students from three Canberra schools and The Australian National University attended the U.S. Embassy initiative that brought leading minds from the U.S. and Australian research, private and public sectors together to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the knowledge economy.

U.S. Ambassador to Australia John Berry gave the keynote address.

Representatives from Google, Microsoft, Intuit, Boeing Australia, Raytheon, Cisco, Lockheed Martin, Seeing Machines, General Electric Australia, Sense-T, BHP Billiton, IBM Research Australia, CSIRO, the Grattan Institute, and The Australian National University highlighted U.S.–Australian innovation success stories, discussed challenges in linking research and development to commercial opportunities, emphasised the importance of STEM education for future success, and explored potential innovation partnerships.

A programme of panel discussions in the morning were followed by a special student forum in the afternoon, giving a smaller group of 25 young people a chance to quiz Ambassador Berry and panelists from Google, Boeing, and Microsoft about career pathways and opportunities in science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

It is hoped that the Canberra event will set the stage for future roundtables across Australia.

Questacon Director, Professor Graham Durant said, “It is a privilege to host this Rountable forum and have some of the world’s most successful companies represented. We hope this forum will generate new collaborations and ideas, and inspire and empower the young people involved to make bold decisions about their careers and future study.”

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