Queensland Brain Institute briefing and tour

Queensland Brain Institute briefing and tour

Sep 30
Join the Queensland Brain Institute and Trustees for a discussion on the importance of investing in fundamental research to drive innovation and collaboration. 
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Professor Pankaj Sah, Director, Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland
Joe Branigan, Director, Tulipwood Economics
Dr Patrick Silvey, Managing Director, VenturePro

Event Overview

Scientific and technological advances drive humanity and economies forward, but what is the best way to accomplish this progress? This is a question faced by governments around the world as they seek innovation-driven increases in productivity.

In Australia, policy discussions have focused on how to achieve more effective collaboration between universities and businesses, and indeed there is much room for improvement and investment in this area. However, university research must not be tethered too closely to the worthy goal of helping today's innovative businesses: there must also be scope to explore the vast unknowns of nature. History has shown that the freedom to discover nature's secrets is what ultimately leads to paradigm-shifting innovations. Economists recognise these spillover benefits (or so-called positive externalities) from basic research as a key driver of productivity growth in the long-run. There are countless examples of basic scientific research leading to unexpected breakthroughs further along the innovation chain. That is why this core component of a university's value-add needs to be recognised, protected, and celebrated.

In this boardroom briefing, Professor Pankaj Sah, Dr Patrick Silvey and economist Joe Branigan will discuss the importance of investing in research that pushes the most remote frontiers of knowledge. They will argue that research to discover the fundamental workings of the brain will generate benefits far beyond improved health, encompassing better approaches to learning, smarter robots, and truly intelligent machines.

CEDA would like to acknowledge the Queensland Brain Institute, Tulipwood Economics and VenturePro for hosting this event. 

This briefing is by invitation only to CEDA Trustees. Trustees are senior leaders nominated by CEDA member organisations. At CEDA boardroom briefings Trustees hear from an informed, expert guest speaker in a private, small group setting. Invitations to boardroom briefings are a valued benefit of CEDA membership. Chatham House Rule applies.


Meet the speakers

Professor Pankaj Sah
Director, Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland

Pankaj is renowned for his work in understanding the neural circuitry of the amygdala, an area of the brain that plays a central role in learning and memory formation. He was recruited to the Queensland Brain Institute as a founding member in 2003, and has been Director since July 2015. Pankaj has published over 130 papers in international peer-reviewed journals, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Nature Partner Journal npj Science of Learning, the first journal to bring together the findings of neuroscientists, psychologists, and education researchers to understand how the brain learns.

Joe Branigan
Director, Tulipwood Economics

Joe is a leading Australian public policy economist with 25 years' experience working in government, academia and private sector consulting. He is a well-known media commentator, author and former economic advisor to the American Ambassador to Australia Robert McCallum Jr. Joe has worked with the Australian Institute for Business and Economics (AIBE), the Hunter Research Foundation (HRF) and the Regional Economies Centre for Excellence in advisory roles.

Dr Patrick Silvey
Managing Director, VenturePro

Patrick has over 25 years' experience providing advisory services to organisations seeking funding for new ventures, research units undertaking strategic reviews, and government agencies seeking public policy research and analysis. He is a specialist in the development and management of major funding submissions for science and technology research programs and new technology and biotechnology ventures.

Kindly hosted by CEDA member:

Trustee event advice - Coronavirus

We at CEDA are proud to regularly convene and engage speakers and audiences as an essential element of our efforts to broaden discussion and debate of the most important policy issues facing Australia. In doing so, our first priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our guests and staff.

CEDA is currently running Trustee roundtable discussions virtually and face-to-face where there is member demand and they can be delivered in accordance with government health advice for a specific state.

For face-to-face roundtables, CEDA is working closely with our hosts and venues to ensure that social distancing can be maintained and facilities and equipment have been properly sanitised.

In line with government advice we request people that are unwell with cough or fever or other respiratory symptoms do not attend CEDA events. We also ask that you follow government advice and maintain social distancing by refraining from shaking hands or exchanging physical greetings, and wherever possible, staying at least 1.5 metres away from others.

CEDA is closely monitoring government advice regarding public gatherings and will follow all relevant health advice from the Australian government in relation to COVID-19.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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