Industry and Skills Minister David Pisoni has announced Professor Caroline McMillen will be South Australia’s new Chief Scientist, starting her three-year tenure in October.
Professor McMillen, most recently Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Newcastle, was instrumental in the economic transition of Newcastle through significant engagement with industry and the establishment of innovation hubs to drive collaboration between industry, researchers, start-ups and investors.
Minister Pisoni, who congratulated Professor McMillen on her appointment at last night’s SA Science Excellence Awards, said he looks forward to seeing the impact of her experience in research and science in South Australia.
“I’m delighted to announce that Professor McMillen will be our next Chief Scientist, providing independent advice to the Premier, the Minister and Cabinet on matters of science and research, technology and innovation,” said Minister Pisoni.
“Professor McMillen’s insights and experience at the interface of research and industry will be invaluable as the South Australian economy continues to transition, and as Lot Fourteen is transformed into a world-class innovation hub.
“Following a distinguished career as a medical and health researcher, she has held national and international roles in research, industry engagement, innovation strategy and policy development.”
Professor McMillen said it was an exciting time to become South Australia’s Chief Scientist.
“It is great to be coming back to South Australia as Chief Scientist, especially at a time when science, technology, engineering and maths disciplines (STEM), innovation and creativity are delivering a healthier environment, economic sustainability and social cohesion,” said Professor McMillen.
“Known as the ‘science state’, South Australia is home to some of the world’s best scientists. It is their passion for discovery and commitment to innovation that are creating new futures for communities across the globe.
“South Australia understands that STEM education and research are at the heart of growth in new industries, new jobs and skills, and a stronger economy. As Chief Scientist, I look forward to playing a role in supporting this mission.”
Minister Pisoni thanked outgoing Chief Scientist Dr Leanna Read for her dedication over the past four years.
“Dr Read has been a tireless leader, who has promoted the importance of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education, research and innovation across all sectors of the community,” said Minister Pisoni.
“She has been a sound advisor to government across a broad range of issues, including cyber security, energy, health and education sectors and involved in countless initiatives to encourage industry-research collaborations.
“She was instrumental in the establishment of the Research Consortia Program, which supports large-scale research collaborations between industry and academia that address significant challenges and opportunities.”