The Cicada Innovations Board brings together strong experience in the management and development of high-growth businesses, a broad range of technological understanding and in-depth knowledge of the commercialisation of R&D outcomes from public and private sector entities.
Andrew Rothery was a co-founder and a former Executive Chairman of the private equity firm Archer Capital and a former Chairman of the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCAL). He serves as a non-executive director on the boards of Koda Capital, Andreasens Green, and General Thinking. In addition he sits on the Global Advisory Board and the Fund 2 Investment Committee of LeapFrog Investments, the Advisory Boards of Blackbird Ventures 2012, L.P. and 2015, L.P., and the Investment Committee of the MLC Private Equity Program. Andrew holds a B.Comm (with Merit)/LLB (University Medal) from the UNSW.
CEO at Cicada Innovations and Director
BSc, MA, MBA
Petra is a multilingual corporate strategist with a proven track record of building and growing tech businesses in Australia, Europe and the US. She has worked extensively with startup founders and investors turning incredible ideas into successful businesses and beyond.
In addition to her work at Cicada Innovations, Petra serves on several boards, lectures entrepreneurship at the University of Sydney Business School and is a business mentor and program advisor for numerous business incubator and accelerator programs in the Australian startup ecosystem. Prior to joining Cicada Innovations, Petra was the Australian based MD of a global Swiss biopharmaceutical company, Octapharma.
Professor Michael Cardew-Hall
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Innovation & Advancement), ANU
Professor Michael Cardew-Hall is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Innovation & Advancement) at ANU. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Institution of Engineers Australia. He has held technical and management positions with GEC and Rolls-Royce Aero Engines in the UK prior to joining the ANU in 1993. He has been an active researcher in the area of CAD, Computer Aided Manufacture, application of machine learning and knowledge based systems to manufacturing and optimisation of manufacturing processes, in particular sheet metal forming. Much of this work has been carried out in collaboration with industry partners, particularly in the automotive sector. He is involved with the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Automotive Technology (AutoCRC) being a member of their expert panel.
He has ongoing interest in technology transfer, commercialisation and industrial policy and has been involved in a number of spin off start up companies. He is currently CEO of ANU Connect Ventures, a pre-seed venture capital fund associated with the ANU.
Professor Cardew-Hall has held the position of Head Department of Engineering, Deputy Dean, and Acting Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the Australian National University.
Dr. Elizabeth Eastland
Director Entrepeneurship, UNSW
BA, MBA PhD
Elizabeth is a seasoned executive with three decades of business, innovation and technology experience. She has shown outstanding leadership in complex, fast changing, multi stakeholder environments with an ability to penetrate complex situations and develop and execute strategy. Elizabeth has thirty years’ international experience in high tech research and development, innovation management, business development, M&A, and strategy, with senior executive roles at UNSW, CSIRO, University of Wollongong, Alcatel, Optus, Optus Vision, GEC, NorTel, BNR, and CEO of a startup.
Elizabeth received her PhD from Sydney University, her Executive MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management, UNSW, won both the Alumni Scholarship & Alumni Prize, has a BA in Computer Science and Creative Writing, (Distinction) from Concordia University, and a BFA(dux), from NAS. She has been the recipient of a number of awards including Alcatel Corporate Executive in 2001 & 2002, Top 100 business women in Australia, Business Class Magazine, and in 2012 named one of AFR/Westpac’s ‘100 most influential women’. She and her team received the Vice Chancellor’s Award in 2015.
Elizabeth is an original, and deeply innovative thinker, with core strengths in strategy, leadership, new opportunity development and innovation.
Deputy Director, Research Engagement, Research Engagement, UTS
BSc (Hons), MTech
Martin has more than 18 years’ experience in innovation management, new product development, commercialisation and technology transfer across a number of sectors.
Martin’s foundation in design management led to a diverse career in technology, innovation and commercialisation, through various private and public sector roles. During this time Martin has worked with hundreds of innovative companies, providing assistance in bringing new products and services to the market. The growth in research-led innovation and commercialisation from publicly funded institutions led Martin into the world of university commercialisation and technology transfer and since 2005 he has worked for universities in the UK and Australia in the field of industry innovation, commercialisation of new technologies and research engagement.
Martin is currently the Deputy Director, Research Engagement at the University of Technology Sydney, with responsibility for developing research funding opportunities, collaborations with industry and commercialisation of UTS intellectual property.
Director, Commercial Development and Industrial Partnerships at The University of Sydney
BA, MA, DPhil
Andrew has over 30 years of experience in IT and telecommunications working in the Defence, Space, Telecommunications, Energy and Utilities sectors. During his time running Logica UK Limited’s Space business he was responsible for the team developing the on board software for the Huygens spacecraft that successfully landed on Titan a moon of Saturn on 14 January 2005. From 1997 to 2003 he was CEO of Logica Pty Ltd in Sydney, the Australian Subsidiary of the UK FT100 publicly listed company. Following this Andrew was Managing Director, Services for Cable and Wireless UK Limited.
Director, Entrepreneur, Angel Investor
Topaz Conway has been growing businesses for over 20 years, including two of her own. She started working with start-up companies in Seattle, USA in 2000, as a Founder, CEO, Venture Capitalist and finally as an Investor. Her experience spans a number of industries, including IT, e-commerce, bio-engineering, and med-tech.
Her current investments include IOT, hi-tech, software, and respiratory protection and she continues to guide these and other companies through investment, development, manufacturing, product launch and exit, in the US and Australia.
In addition to being Chair of SBE Australia since 2014, Topaz is a Director of StartupAUS and is a Commercialisation Advisor to the Accelerating Commercialisation Grant Program. She is immediate past Chair of PAFTec Pty Ltd, a respiratory protection device company, that grew under her leadership from startup to global sales of $6.4M in 3 years and has been a Director on the Telstra Industry Advisory Board.
With all her hats, Topaz is continually seeking and supporting Australia’s top innovation companies.
Professor Brian Boyle
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, UNSW
BSc (Hons), PhD
Professor Boyle joined UNSW in July 2015. He has held the roles of Pro Voice-Chancellor (Research) and Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). Professor Boyle has published over 150 referred research papers in astronomy. His research interests include cosmology, quasars and astronomical instrumentation. He graduated with a BSc (Hons) from the University of Edinburgh in 1982 and obtained his PhD from the University of Durham in 1986.
Professor Boyle was Director of Australia’s premier optical telescope, the Anglo-Australian telescope from 1996-2003 and Australia’s radio telescopes, CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility from 2003-2009. From 2009-2015, working with the Australian Government’s Department of Industry and Science, he successfully led Australia’s bid to co-host the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, the world’s largest radio telescope. Professor Boyle also led the establishment of the Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory in Western Australia (Australia’s site for the SKA telescope) and initiated the construction $188m Australian SKA Telescope at this site.
Professor Boyle was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 2006. He also shared in the 2009 Gruber Prize for Cosmology and 2015 Breakthrough Award in Fundamental Physics as a member of the Supernova Cosmology Project team for the discovery that the expansion of the Universe was accelerating. He was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003 for services to astronomy and the Public Service Medal in the 2013 Australia Day Honours for his leadership of the Australian SKA project.