Professor Sharath Sriram, renowned as a visionary “connector of commercialisation” and a research rockstar, has been appointed as Science & Technology Australia’s (STA) new President.
Prof. Sriram’s election comes with a bold agenda to unify Australia’s diverse innovation components and propel the nation into a new era of scientific and technological prosperity.
As a dynamic next-generation leader, he brings an unparalleled understanding of Australia’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) strengths. His strategic vision aims to leverage major policy levers that can drive robust commercialisation success and diversify the Australian economy.
Upon taking the reins at STA, Prof. Sharath Sriram expressed deep honour in leading the influential policy voice for Australia’s STEM sectors. He outlined an ambitious plan to unite the entire spectrum of the STEM sector, including industry, research, professional societies, academia, start-ups, and innovation. The overarching goal is to “power up Australian prosperity” by fostering a nation of creators rather than mere consumers.
“To be a nation of creators and not just consumers, Australia needs robust investment to support the full pipeline of STEM programs from ideas, through to research, validation, prototyping, and deployment,” said Prof. Sriram.
Congratulations to TMOS Chief Investigator @sharath_sriram who has just been elected Science & Technology Australia President! Sharath has led policy development within the organisation for four years and is excited to step into this new role.#scienceandtechnology #advocacy pic.twitter.com/cMhLVTYkON
— MetaOptics (@TMOS_ARC) November 29, 2023
In his two-year term as President, Prof. Sriram aims to secure the stability and career development of early and mid-career researchers. He advocates for transformative changes in STEM education, starting from the earliest years of learning, to cultivate a skilled workforce that can drive innovation.
The outgoing President, Prof. Mark Hutchinson leaves a remarkable legacy, having led transformative changes in STA’s advocacy for the research and commercialisation ecosystem. Under Professor Hutchinson’s leadership, STA became a catalyst for change.
Prof. Sriram looks forward to building on this foundation. He is no stranger to success in bridging the gap between industry and research. His achievements include generating over $6 million in commercial partnerships for RMIT University over the past five years. This success is attributed to close collaboration with industry partners, positioning himself as a trusted contact for businesses seeking solutions within the university system.
Notable breakthroughs from Prof. Sharath Sriram’s team include smart bedding products for aged-care support, a wearable for continuous molecular monitoring, and miniature biosensors for monitoring respiratory illnesses. His extensive experience positions him as a catalyst for bringing science fiction to reality, particularly in nanoelectronics, sensors, and medical technologies.
An alumnus of PSG College of Technology Coimbatore, Prof. Sriram moved to Melbourne in 2004 to pursue a postgraduate degree in microelectronics.
Alongside Dr Cheenuapth Jagadish AC who is President of the Australian Academy of Science, Prof. Sriram becomes a second Indian-trained professional heading a major science organisation in Australia.
Scence & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing over 115,000 scientists and technologists, is poised to play a pivotal role in realising Prof. Sriram’s ambitious visions. With flagship programs like Science Meets Parliament, Superstars of STEM, and STA STEM Ambassadors, the organisation stands at the forefront of shaping the future of Australian science and technology.
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