Companies in the resources sector are under intense pressure today to innovate and evolve their businesses to be faster, more sustainable, more digital, more automated, and more resilient to disruptions like COVID-19. But many companies lack the critical knowledge they need to be able to innovate successfully. In this first-of-its-kind event, the MIT Industrial Liaison Program is collaborating with our member companies Woodside and Rio Tinto, to examine the key questions underlying this challenge, and to share the expertise in academia, industry, and government that will help chart a course forward for the resources industry in Australia and worldwide.
In this symposium we’ll address the key questions:
All Times Australia Western Standard Time (GMT+8h)
Challenges for Innovation
In June 2014 I was appointed as the Chief Scientist of Western Australia, after stepping down as Executive Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (formerly the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research - WAIMR) in March 2014. I was honoured to be recognised as a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in June 2017 for contributions to medical research and for promoting science and innovation in Western Australia.
I obtained my PhD in Biochemistry from The University of Western Australia in 1982 and was a Fogarty International Fellow at the US National Institutes of Health in Washington, between 1984 and 1986. From there I returned to work at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne as an NHMRC Postdoctoral Fellow between 1987 and 1988. In 1989, I became a Lecturer in Biochemistry at the University of Western Australia, then Senior Lecturer before being appointed Professor in Clinical Biochemistry in 1994. Between 2000 and 2002 I was the Director of Research at Royal Perth Hospital, before taking up the Executive Director's role in WAIMR from 2002 to 2014.
I am no longer research-active but my research interests encompassed the regulation of red blood cell formation and ability of leukemic cells to develop different features and functions. I also have a long-standing interest in identifying genes which can cause cancer or leukemia.
As Chief Scientist of Western Australia, my passion is to see the State develop into a global hub of creativity and innovation in all sectors, and to capitalise on the remarkable assets it is endowed with. I am particularly passionate about the crucial role of education for society and indigenous culture.
Neil is the Chief Scientist at Woodside Energy Ltd., Australia’s largest natural gas producer, and a pioneer of Australia’s liquified natural gas (LNG) industry. Neil promotes this pioneering spirit to solve future global energy challenges.
An engineer with a 30-year international oil and gas career, Neil has worked in production, engineering, exploration and new technology roles in North Sea (Aberdeen), Netherlands, Brunei, Oman and Australia. Neil has a passion for solving important problems with step change innovation by building self-motivated communities who want to make a difference.
Neil is from Leeds, UK, and graduated from University Of Manchester with degrees (B.Eng, B.Sc (Hons)) in Engineering and Management in 1986. He is an Adjunct Professor with the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems at University of Western Australia and a Director of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Nigel is the Chief Scientist of Rio Tinto – leading the company’s global Technology and R&D program working closely with the Rio Tinto’s Product Groups and Functions worldwide. He holds a BSc (eng) and PhD in Metallurgy and Materials Science from Imperial College, London, UK and is an Associate of the Royal School of Mines. He holds an MBA from Queen’s University, Canada. Nigel has worked for Rio Tinto for 33 years in the aluminum, copper & diamonds divisions of Rio Tinto holding various operational and functional positions across the company in R&D, Environment and Technical Management, Regional Industrial Development, Technology Sales, Operational Excellence and Climate Change worldwide, and in his previous roles he was the Managing Director of Copper & Diamonds Operations, Head of Group Technical – Processing for Rio Tinto, and SVP of Technology and Supply Chain in the Aluminum Product Group.
Directional Thought Leadership
Phil Budden is a Senior Lecturer at MIT's Management School, in Sloan's TIES (Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategic-management) Group, where he focuses on 'innovation-driven entrepreneurship' (IDE) and innovation ecosystems.
Phil co-teaches in the successful 'Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program' (REAP), an ExecEd program for regional teams from around the globe interested in accelerating 'innovation-driven entrepreneurship'; in the related 15.364 class, known as the 'Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Lab' (REAL), aimed at MBAs and Sloan Fellows; and on similar topics in a variety of degree and ExecEd settings.
Phil's approach combines academic, historical and real-world perspectives on how different stakeholders - including Entrepreneurs, Universities and 'Risk Capital' providers, alongside Corporate enterprises and Government policymakers - can all contribute to building successful innovation ecosystems. Phil is currently on leave from the British Government, and joins MIT having worked recently in Boston's private sector for the Royal Bank of Scotland's US subsidiary, Citizens Bank, where he focused on financing transatlantic (especially British-American) trade and investment. His background as a diplomat makes him well-suited to the 'global innovation' of REAP/REAL, the interplay among the REAP teams, and the negotiations within the 'innovation ecosystems' (especially between Corporate and Government stakeholders).
In the fall of 2012, while a Visiting Scholar at MIT, Phil had undertaken a project on innovation and entrepreneurship for the British Prime Minister's office at No 10 (and UK Trade and Investment) to inform the UK's Entrepreneurs Campaign. From 2007 until 2012, he had served as the British Consul General to New England, in which role he had been responsible for transatlantic business issues, including trade and investment, corporate/government affairs, as well as science and innovation, leading him to an abiding interest in entrepreneurship. In that time, he also moved the British Consulate to One Broadway (aka e70) to be closer to MIT, Sloan and Kendall Square.
Prior to MIT, Phil had joined the British Foreign Office in 1993, and spent his first decade as a diplomat focused on Britain's membership of the European Union (EU), involving its key economic, financial and technology policies. After 9/11, his second decade as a British diplomat was spent in the US: first at the British Embassy in Washington (2002-2007), focused on transatlantic economic and business issues, including technology security, international science and innovation links, and trade policy; and later based in Boston (2007-2012) as Her Britannic Majesty's Consul General to New England.
In sum, Phil has held these posts with the British government: British Cabinet Office, London (5/6/2001 - 6/30/2002); British Embassy, Washington DC (7/1/2002 - 8/5/2007); 1st Secretary (UK-US Technology, Science & Innovation) Washington DC; Adviser to the PM at No10 (European/institutional strategy) London, UK.
Phil holds a BA and MA in History from Lincoln College, the University of Oxford; an MA in History and Government from Cornell University; and a PhD (DPhil) in History and International Political Economy from the University of Oxford.
Kevin C. Desouza is a Professor of Business, Technology and Strategy in the School of Management at the QUT Business School. He is a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Governance Studies Program at the Brookings Institution and is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the China Institute for Urban Governance at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He has held tenured faculty appointments at the University of Washington, Virginia Tech, and Arizona State University. In addition, he has held visiting appointments at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Università Bocconi, University of the Witwatersrand, and the University of Ljubljana. Desouza has authored, co-authored, and/or edited nine books. He has published more than 130 articles in journals across a range of disciplines including information systems, information science, public administration, political science, technology management, and urban affairs. A number of outlets have featured his work including Sloan Management Review, Stanford Social Innovation Research, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Businessweek, Wired, Governing, Slate.com, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NPR, PBS, and Computerworld. Desouza has advised, briefed, and/or consulted for major international corporations, non-governmental organizations, and public agencies on strategic management issues ranging from management of information systems, to knowledge management, innovation programs, crisis management, and leadership development. Desouza has received over $1.8 million in research funding from both private and government organizations.
As Executive Director of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, Leon Sandler wears many hats: He is responsible for guiding the center’s strategic direction, ensuring successful execution of its mission, and managing day-today operations.
With a strong background in the assessment of technologies for commercialization, Mr. Sandler leads a process the center calls “select, direct and connect”. Through this process, faculty research projects are chosen to receive Deshpande Center grants, based on a project’s potential commercial and social impact. Research teams then receive intensive guidance in how to bring their inventions to the marketplace and form new spinout companies.
Among his related duties Mr. Sandler:
- Mentors faculty and student researchers
- Coaches and lectures on technology innovation and entrepreneurship at the MIT Trust Entrepreneurship Center and the MIT Sloan executive education program
- Advises organizations around the world on how to move technologies from the lab to the marketplace
- Serves as the Deshpande Center’s fundraiser-in-chief, responsible for keeping the center on a sound financial footing.
To ensure the success of all these activities, Mr. Sandler builds and continually renews a broad network of relationships. These include connections within MIT’s well-developed entrepreneurial ecosystem and external ties with venture capitalists, corporate supporters, government agencies, and educational institutions.
Business, Entrepreneurial and Educational Background
Before joining the Deshpande Center in 2006, Leon Sandler held senior positions in general management, marketing, finance and business development at companies such as Boston Consulting Group, Eastman Kodak, Texas Instruments and Digital Equipment Corporation. He founded the consulting firm Monmouth Group, where he provided management, marketing and business development assistance to over twenty early-stage companies. This included co-founding and serving as the CEO of Nuvonyx, a maker of industrial laser systems; serving as CEO of several start-ups; and assisting many ventures as an interim executive or advisor.
Mr. Sandler received his B.S. degree in 1971 and his M.S. in Chemical Engineering in 1973 from Natal University in South Africa, and his M.B.A. in 1977 from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Collaborative Innovation in Action
Jared has 30 years of industry experience, local and international (US, Southern Africa), that has included global technical, operations and productivity roles. He leads Rio Tinto's technical development team and associated facility in Melbourne, Victoria, is part of our global R&D leaders forum, engages key internal and external stakeholders, and represents Rio Tinto as a director of Amira Global, and Chairman of the AusIMM Education Endowment Fund.
BEng (Metallurgical) Hons (RMIT), PhD Chemical engineering, (Melb Uni), Graduate AICD.
Fabio started his career in at CGG in London in their Marine seismic processing group before undertaking a PhD in Geophysics at the University of Edinburgh working on Converted waves processing. After completing it, he started working at Total, initially in their Research group in the UK, then in their seismic processing team in France. Five years later he joined Hess UK in their technology group.
In 2011 he relocated to Australia to join Woodside in the Sub-Surface technology team. He currently covers the role of Chief Geophysicist. His main interests are in seismic processing, velocity model building and in the early adoption of new technologies.