World Computer Congress - Brisbane 2010

Main navigation

World Computer Congress - Brisbane 2010

20-23 September 2010 - Brisbane - Australia

Australian Computer Societyifip - International Federation for Information Processing

Pearcey Foundation 2010 Roundtable Debate

"Where is publically-funded ICT R&D in Australia headed?"

Wednesday 22 September 2010     1.45PM     Great Hall 1


As part of the WCC 2010, six prominent research leaders will give their vision of the future direction of Australia’s publicly funded ICT R&D institutions at this round-table session to be held at the Brisbane Exhibition & Convention Centre. All of the speakers have had extensive experience in industry, government or academic ICT research organisations. Additionally they will participate in four short debates on contemporary issues facing these institutions. The debate held under Chatham House Rules, will involve active audience participation.


The first of two one and a quarter hour sessions will allow each of the six research leaders to give ten (10) minute statements on their views and perspective in regard to publicly funded ICT R&D in Australia. The second session will be based loosely on parliamentary debate derived from the British House of Commons parliamentary procedure. The objective of this fast-paced panel debate session is to provide the audience with a light-hearted humorous conclusion to the Pearcey Round-table sessions. The panellists will have the opportunity to express an opinion for or against on a topic that they may not otherwise normally speak about. For entertainment purposes the topics are somewhat controversial. The panellists' arguments for or against are made under Chatham House Rules and they are free to express views that may not be those of their organisations

Each of the four debates will run for approximately 15 minutes. The moderator will introduce the topic (1-2 mins) followed by each member of the two opposing teams (3 members each) having their right to reply (2mins). At the conclusion of each debate the moderator will allow for the audience to participate by casting their vote for the winning team (1-2mins). At the end of the three debates the moderator will present the results of the audience voting and the winning team will be announced.

The Topics

Topic 1:
Intellectual Property developed during publicly funded research should be owned by the public.

Topic 2:
To achieve a Sustainable Australia, the Government must follow the lead of the European Union, who invested €500 million in ICT research to pioneer solutions for global challenges such as climate change.

Topic 3:
Direct investment in universities is the best way for government and industry to achieve commercialisation of ICT R&D in Australia.

Topic 4:
A bias towards agricultural and mining, not ICT, research and development is completely appropriate given Australia's abundant and diverse natural resources.


Dr David Skellern, CEO of National ICT Australia (NICTA), is an ICT entrepreneur with a background in scientific research, industrial R&D and engineering education. He was formerly chair of Electronics at Macquarie University and co-founder of Radiata, the Australian company responsible for the world's first IEEE 802.11a chip-set. Following Radiata's acquisition by Cisco Systems, Dr Skellern became technical director of Cisco's wireless networking business unit. He has been CEO of NICTA since 2005.

Dr Alex Zelinsky is group executive of Information Sciences at CSIRO. He is also: a member of the Australian government's IT Industry Council; an Adjunct Professor at the ANU; and a member of the NSW Government's NBN Taskforce. He is vice president of the Industrial Activities board of the IEEE's Robotics and Automation Society and is an advisor to the ARC Centre of Excellence for Visions Science and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems.

Dr Mary O'Kane is NSW's chief scientist and scientific engineer. She is a former vice chancellor of the University of Adelaide and has served on the Australian Research Council, the CRC Council and the board of CSIRO. Dr O'Kane runs her own consulting business, advising governments, universities and the private sector on innovation, research and education. Mary was a member of the panel conducting Australia's National Innovation Systems review in 2008 and as part of which she was also responsible for a major review of the CRC program.

Professor Craig Mudge is managing partner of Pacific Challenge, a consulting firm with affiliates in the US, Australia and NZ. He founded CSIRO's VLSI program and was CEO of spin-off company Austek Microsystems Ltd, where innovative logic chips and the world's first single-chip cache for the PC, were developed. He was formerly Professor of Computer Science at Flinders University, director of the CSIRO-Flinders Joint Research Centre, Professor of Innovation at Macquarie University and director of the Computer Science Lab at Xerox PARC in the US. Chairman of the national working group on cloud computing in the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering he recently founded the University of Adelaide's eScience Centre, enabled by cloud computing.

Professor Simon Kaplan is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Information Technology at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Prior to his outstanding academic career in Australia, Simon was the principal designer and implementer of a range of Enterprise Resource Planning tools for the SME marketplace out of Cape Town, South Africa. Simon has extensive experience as an expert witness in ICT patent and contractual disputes as well as serving on several ACM and IEEE committees.

Professor Dave Thomas was founder and CEO of Object Technology International, now IBM OTI Labs and played a major role in setting IBM's open source agenda with Dr Thomas is a well-known Canadian figure in modern software development and object technology and has worked extensively with the Distributed Systems Technology Centre CRC in Brisbane. He continues to be a strong advocate for Australian innovation and is founder of the YOW! Australia International Developer Conference, the Australian portion of the popular and successful international JAOO Conference series. Currently David heads Bedarra Research Labs in Ottawa, Canada.


Great Hall 1
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
Merivale St, South Bank QLD 4101
More room details available on WCC 2010 program website.


1:00PM – 1:45PMRegistration (coffee available)
1:45PM – 2:15PMWelcome and introductions
2:15PM – 3:30PMPresentations from the six research leaders
3:30PM – 4:00PMCoffee break
4:00PM – 5:15PMDebating session (4 x 12 mins plus discussions)



If you are registering just for the Pearcey Medal Dinner then please click here and after completing your personal details click through to the Pearcey Medal dinner form. The fee will be $170.00 which covers the Pearcey Medal Dinner as well as the Roundtable event.

More Information

More information can be found at the Pearcey Foundation - 2010 National Pearcey Event website.