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Commercialisation advisers understand the challenges of commercialising new intellectual property (IP) and have expertise in key sectors and local and international markets.

They have experience in:

  • biotechnology and life sciences
  • mining technology
  • food and agribusiness
  • information and communications technology
  • design, engineering and advanced manufacturing
  • medical devices
  • defence technologies
  • IP law

Commercialisation advisers work together to share industry knowledge and business contacts. Successful grant recipients benefit from their vast experience.

Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales

Allan Aaron

Portrait shot of Allan Aaron

Allan Aaron has over 30 years of experience in technology and business as an entrepreneur, venture capital investor, management consultant, and engineer. He established the Silicon Valley office of TVP and has invested over $240 million in more than 25 start-up and early-expansion technology-focused companies in Australia, the US, Europe and Asia.

Allan holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Aerospace), a Master of Engineering (Sustainable and Renewable Energy) and a Master of Business Administration. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Topaz Conway

Portrait shot of Topaz Conway

Topaz Conway has 20 years of experience working with fast growth companies across multiple industries. This includes founding and successfully exiting two of her own companies. She has worked in hi-tech and biotech, and she founded an internet wine company. Her skills and passion is to guide entrepreneurs through strategy, investment, development (including regulatory approvals), manufacturing, product launch and exit in the US and Australian markets.

Topaz is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is a past Executive Chair of CleanSpace Pty Ltd and co-founder and past Chair of SBE Australia (Springboard Accelerator). She is currently a non-Executive Director of StartupAus, Cicada Innovations and Alberta Research & Innovation Council. She also sits on multiple Advisories including: Australian Industry Innovation and Science Women's Advisory Roundtable and CEBIT Women in Tech Advisory.


Malcolm Donnell

Portrait shot of Malcolm Donnell

Malcolm Donnell has experience in venture capital, senior management and the commercialisation of university research. He ran his own advisory business with a focus on strategic advice, business planning, acquisitions, business sales and fundraising for small and medium enterprises.

Malcolm has a Bachelor of Engineering (1st class honours) and a Master of Business Administration. He is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

John Grew

Portrait shot of John Grew

John Grew has 30 years of experience in the life science and industrial biotechnology sectors. He is an experienced, independent corporate advisor. He has extensive commercialisation experience in human veterinary healthcare, agritech, energy, environment and sustainability.

John has a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and a Master of Business Administration. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Nigel Hennessy

Portrait shot of Nigel Hennessy

Nigel Hennessy is an experienced senior executive and director. Areas of expertise are water technology, agribusiness, transport, wireless communications, software intensive systems, spatial technologies, intelligence and defence systems. He has won numerous awards as a leader in innovation, entrepreneurship, commercialisation and international business development.

Nigel has a Bachelor in Cybernetics and Mathematics with a postgraduate degree in Oceanography and Meteorology. He is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is on the executive committee for Regional Development Australia (RAD) and a director of the Australian Institute of Project Management.

Maureen Murphy

Portrait shot of Maureen Murphy

Maureen Murphy has extensive experience commercialising new technologies. She has assisted agribusiness, advanced manufacturing, medical technology, software, and robotics companies. She has taken several ventures from early stage through to successful exit. She has held CEO roles in global ICT and satellite communications businesses. Her extensive network covers the technology SME, university research, start-up accelerators, angel investment, venture capital, and corporate innovation sectors.

Maureen has a Master of Business and Technology (MBA Technology) degree. She sits on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the UNSW Business School.

Murray Rankin

Portrait shot of Murray Rankin

Murray Rankin has significant IT-related business, strategy, governance and investment experience in Australia and overseas. He has a proven record in the conceptualisation, implementation, support and review of key business initiatives and technical strategies and the application of disruptive innovation.

Murray has won numerous business awards, including Telstra Small Business of the Year. He holds postgraduate qualifications in business, organisational psychology and entrepreneurship. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Chris Burnett

Portrait shot of Chris Burnett

Chris brings over 25 years of experience as a company director. He has founded five companies and served as Managing Director or Chairman on 14 boards. He has extensive hands-on experience through his various international executive management roles. In particular, his experience is in building innovative companies and teams from the ground up, mainly in the electronics, IT, defence, telecoms and manufacturing sectors. As a consultant he has worked with numerous government departments and enterprises to deliver successful outcomes.

Chris has honours degrees in Engineering and Law. He is a Chartered Engineer, fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Stephen Davis

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Stephen Davis specialises in the development and commercialisation of new products of a technical nature. He has worked with a variety of technology-based enterprises, many with a focus on sensing technologies. He has had a variety of senior executive roles in multinational corporations and is the inventor of 19 patents.

Stephen has a PhD in physical chemistry.

South Australia and Northern Territory

Ann Angel

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Ann Angel has over 25 years of international business experience introducing new products to market. She has worked for Australian start-up technology companies, as well as her own medical device company. She specialises in market entry strategy and distribution chain management. Her background includes investment management for an early-stage venture capital fund and interest in medical device regulations.

Ann is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Doug Adamson

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Doug Adamson has founded, co-founded and managed several fast growth technology businesses in Australia and overseas. He has expertise in businesses commercialising technology with a focus on IT, media and online enterprises.

Doug is qualified in electronic engineering, finance and venture capital. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Grant Steinberg

Portrait shot of Grant Steinberg

Grant Steinberg has over 20 years of experience establishing and leading technology-based companies. He co-founded two leading ICT start-ups, which both delivered unique solutions to high profile national and international clients. He has assisted companies in industries such as wine, oil and gas, education, law enforcement, construction and manufacturing.

Grant holds a Bachelor of Design: Industrial Design. He has represented the SA ICT industry in an advisory capacity to the state government and with Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) during its formative years.

Victoria and Tasmania

Stephen Goodall

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Stephen Goodall has 30 years of experience developing and manufacturing products for the life science sector for international markets. His focus is on managing and directing design, development and clinical evaluation in this highly regulated environment. His core skills include biopharma operations, development and regulatory strategy and technology commercialisation.

Stephen has a PhD, a Master of Applied Science and Master of Business Administration. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Joe Barber

Portrait shot of  Joe Barber

Joe Barber has over 25 years of experience in technology, start-ups and business development, having founded 8 start-ups. He is an expert in the mobile technology field and spent 4 years as a contributing writer for Marketing magazine on business and marketing for the mobile marketplace. He has skills in business development, strategy, sales and marketing, eCommerce, mobile apps and web development.

Joe was a board member of the Variety charity and mentors emerging entrepreneurs. He has vast experience in public speaking and is a regular speaker at business and marketing events in both Australia and the US.

Peter Batchelor

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Peter Batchelor has experience managing intellectual property and growing technology ventures. This includes intellectual property identification and protection, market assessment and business planning, capital raising, implementing legal frameworks and developing distribution channels.

Peter has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Business Administration. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ron Mack

Portrait shot of Ron Mack

Ron Mack has 30 years of experience running a successful management consulting practice. His business delivers a broad range of consulting services to public and private sector organisations in Australia and overseas. His core skills are in business strategy, business performance improvement, market research and technology commercialisation. He has held interim CEO and non-executive director positions with technology start-ups, private and public companies. He has particular experience in the food processing, agribusiness, electronics, engineering and manufacturing sectors. His most recent role was as Manager, Industry Engagement with CSIRO’s Future Manufacturing Flagship. In this position he linked industry with CSIRO’s advanced manufacturing research capabilities and advised SMEs on technological innovation.

Ron has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Hons) and a Bachelor of Economics.

Elane Zelcer

Portrait shot of Elane Zelcer

Elane Zelcer is an experienced business leader in the life sciences sector. She provides strategic advisory and commercialisation consulting services to companies and universities. She continues to grow her technical, commercial and capital raising networks both nationally and internationally.

Elane has a Bachelor of Science (Hons), PhD and a Graduate Diploma of Business. She is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Western Australia

Sheryl Frame

Portrait shot of Sheryl Frame

Sheryl Frame has many years of experience in working with companies ranging from start-ups to public listed companies.  Her areas of expertise include healthcare, biometrics, IT and mining.  She has started a number of successful companies and has an extensive network of international and local business contacts.

Sheryl has a Bachelor of Physiotherapy. She holds board positions on the Board of SBE Australia, Australian Women in IT, Science and Engineering (AWISE) and Women in Technology WA (WITWA).

Charlie Gunningham

Portrait shot of Charlie Gunningham

Charlie Gunningham has 20 years of experience managing early stage tech start-ups, media businesses and commercialising innovative IT projects. He is a mentor on most Perth-based start-up programs and runs the local Startup News website. He sits on the boards of the RISE Network and the Perth Symphony Orchestra.

Charlie has degrees in economics and teaching and a Master of Business Administration. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.