The recent KCA AGM has seen a change in Chair and the election of a number of new KCA members to office.
In welcoming these new members, KCA says goodbye and thank you to some of our earlier members, including our immediate past Chair, Mr Robert Chalmers, Managing Director of Adelaide Research & Innovation.
On stepping down Rob said, ” It has been a privilege to be Chair of KCA and my engagement with the association has benefited me in many ways: engaging me with colleagues locally and internationally and with the important policy settings that impact our work. I have thoroughly enjoyed my involvement in KCA and the friendships that I have made. It has been a great experience working with the sector and advocating on behalf of the needs of the collective. So much remains to be done, but we are well positioned for further growth and I am sure that the association will thrive under new leadership.”
Rob was elected as Chair of the association in 2012, and part of the Executive for over 8 years. During his time as Chair, Rob has helped to propel the association forwards, and has overseen a number of initiatives creating a more sustainable entity.
Rob was instrumental in introducing the association’s first ever paid employee, a dedicated resource to help drive change and to champion a future direction. In 2013, Melissa Geue was employed as a full time Executive Officer to work with Rob to help ramp up activity and move the association forwards. Since then, the association has increased its activity and participation in industry wide events, and has been able to offer more training and networking events to members.
An active advocate, Rob contributed many submissions to Federal Government papers on policy affecting the translation of research. These included contributions on metrics, boosting commercial returns from research, reform of entrepreneurial support programs, assessment of the wider benefits arising from research, R&D tax incentive reform, venture capital and entrepreneurial skills, and the role of IP in collaborations between the public and private sectors. Rob has helped to raise the profile of KCA and the member base internationally, speaking on its behalf at AUTM events in Beijing, Singapore, Kyoto, Texas and Taipei. He has also worked with the Federal government on projects such as the reform of the National Survey of Research Commercialisation, the development of the IP toolkit, participated in many roundtable discussions at a State and Federal level on the reform of programs directed at translational research support, and represented KCA in groups such as the IP Stakeholders Forum.
KCA Executive and members thank Rob for the great deal of work and commitment to help progress the association to where it is today, always considering the goal to grow the offering of KCA, and return value to all members.
Newly elected Chair of KCA, Dr Alastair Hick said, “Rob has been a valuable member of the KCA Executive and has instigated a number of changes since being Chair which have made a real and lasting difference to that way in which KCA operates. We have appreciated all of his contributions to the sector during the past eight years and thank him for all that his done. He leaves KCA well positioned for the next phase in its growth.”
The recent AGM saw another of the KCA Executive team step down as well. After three years with the Executive, David Henderson, previous head of the UniQuest has also stepped down. KCA would like to thank David for all of his contributions to discussion around the future of the association, and input into bringing the association to where it is today.