Tuesday 1 August 2017 saw the launch of the very first IMPACT7 event, with Australia’s best and brightest brains coming together in Melbourne, to present their solutions to our nation’s 7 biggest challenges.

A collection of over 250 people from all areas of Australia’s innovation ecosystem – from Universities, research organisations, industry, government and even local high school students gathered to hear established and up and coming scientists and researchers pitch their big ideas.


Dr Fiona Wood AO spoke at the event, sharing her journey of perseverance. Describing how she gets to impact was an electrifying, and at times, very funny way to end a massive day of big ideas. Dr Wood said, "You wake up in the morning to be the best you can be. Anything less than that is a waste of human energy." and with this one quote, you can understand how her incredible keynote left the room fired, and ready to make things happen in the world. Her strong, no holds-barred messages about resilience and self belief was truly a real shot in the arm for this research and entrepreneur audience looking to make their mark like this inspirational Australian.

Innovative Industries

In session 1 we heard from speakers who shared their visions for a disruptive approach to traditional ways of doing things- from mining, city commutes, hard plastic gadgets, to how you are treated for major tissue trauma in hospitals. Presenters spoke of highly connected train towns designed to ease the pressure on our major centres and  personalised 3D printing for tissues and body parts ready on arrival in the ‘Hospitals of the Future’.

Presenters and panelists

Nick Cleary, Mathilde Desselle, Madhu Bhaskaran, Chris Gilbey, Amanda Caples, Charles Day, Sally-Ann Williams.

IMPACT7 saw Australia’s best and brightest coming together to present their solutions to our nation’s 7 biggest challenges.

Resilient and valuable environments

We were taken away to the great outdoors and the challenges that Australia’ unique biodiversity presents. Australians are connected to nature in a way that not many can compare, so it’s no surprise that these two teams demonstrated their passion and dedication to the preservation and conservation of two different bio-diversities, through pest eradication in the bush and 3D modelling in the Reefs.

Presenters and panelists

Victor Galea, Will Figueria, Rowan Brookes, Sarah Pearson, Elaine Stead.

A secure Australia and region

This session gave us ON Accelerator 3 Graduate James Palmer who spoke of the very real defence impacts that the Silentium Defence ‘silent radar’ can immediately present - protecting those serving, when they need it most. His co-panel pitchers discussed other Defence research, sharing their applications to help Australian defence and service professionals defend and protect here and globally.

Presenters and panelists

 Nicola Bilton & Joyce Mau, David White, James Plamer, Andrew Bean, Elizabeth Eastland, Nicholas Gruen, Patrick Mooney.

Clean energy and resources

Session 4 demonstrated the huge challenges in energy and resources, especially timely – given the current crisis that Australians face in pricing and reliability. Our incredible panellists presented a variety of ways that their science could help change the face of Australian neighbourhoods and access to new energy technologies – using innovations and models in lithium, geothermal and solar research.

Presenters and panelists

James Eggleston, Linden Jansen-Page, Daniel Jewell, Jo Hume, Lara Olsen, Alex Wonhas, Kathrine Woodthorpe

Food security and quality

In Session 5, we heard about the challenges facing Australia even in a country of plenty. Our panellists spoke of the need for not just improved food security, but ways of doing things better to ensure quality for now and the future. We heard about Agricultural cybernetics, new approaches to drought and soils, and how we can reduce the impacts of fruit flies through safer, healthier and more effective pest management, removing the need for chemicals with the use of micro-wave technology.

Presenters and panelists

Tristan Perez, Kai Xun Chan, Mala Gamage, Guillermo Narsilio, Petra Andren, Michael Dean, Geoff Gourley, Browyn Harch.

Health and wellbeing

Session 6 led some highly compelling and fascinating ideas for the future of health science. Consider a world where such technologies will help surgeons cut into brains with the same confidence as an electrician fixing a fuse, to the use of nano-diamonds in stem cell research, bacteria that can beat mosquitoes and a new inhalable Oxytocin that can prevent childbirth deaths or disabilities, saving millions of lives. Incredible!

Presenters and panelists

Carlo Bradac, Michelle McIntosh, Lee Reid, Perran Ross, Brigitte Smith, Melanie Thomson, Michael Wilson.


Our special and final session closed out a huge day of inspiring Australian ideas and science with some speciality selected Wildcards – this panel of big ideas shared their solutions; leveraging lessons in Indigenous Australia happiness for wellbeing, connecting problem owners with solvers and the build of tiny space engines for Cubesat nano-satellites!

Presenters and panelists

Bruce Muirhead, Sheree Cairney, Christine Charles, John Dyson, Marguerite Evans-Galea, Rose Hiscock.

IMPACT7 - An amazing day

Housed in the historical Meat Market in inner city Melbourne, the day’s event venue gave attendees an inspiring environment to reflect on our past, and look to the changing business landscape and future face of Australian innovation. Some feedback included “As soon as I walked off stage I was approached by an Investor who said “We need to talk”. ..This event has been invaluable!

We were asked “Will you run this again next year? It’s been great. I’ve had some really valuable conversations, and after my presentation I was approached by the perfect clinician partner – we’re now in discussions about next steps.

With thanks

Our thanks to partners Slattery, MC Marc Fennell, Key note speaker Dr Fiona Wood AM, our amazing panels of Impact leaders, our Pitchcamp facilitator Jo O’Reilly (who got our presenters more than ship-shape) and of course, our incredible Impact presenters for sharing their ideas for the new world

Contact ON

Your contact details

First name must be filled in

We'll need to know what you want to contact us about so we can give you an answer.