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Science & Technology Australia welcomes Ryan Winn as new CEO

Science & Technology Australia welcomes its new Chief Executive Officer, Ryan Winn, who started in the key leadership role on Wednesday. 

Ryan joins STA after a long and distinguished career in research leadership and the Australian Public Service driving complex policy issues, including in the Departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Education. He was most recently the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA). 

He joins the team at a time when the country’s science and research system is at a critical juncture, with an urgent need for deep and sustained investment in economy-boosting research and development, and a rapidly increasing demand for STEM skills, innovation and knowledge. 

“The Federal Government has shown it wants to build our knowledge economy through the Universities Accord, refreshing the National Science and Research Priorities, tackling diversity in the STEM sector, and incentivising business to deepen its investment in R&D through the Future Made in Australia programs,” he said. 

“On top of that, from the Northern Territory to Western Australia to Victoria, state and territory governments are also seeking to better understand and invest in their role in science and technology.” 

“It’s an exciting time to be working in STEM, and a personally thrilling time to be leading an organisation that is the voice for the sector. I’m looking forward to meeting our member organisations to hear more about the challenges their facing and working to ensure that STA continues to powerfully advocate on their behalf.” 

“There are big challenges ahead for the sector – our Australia’s research system is fragmented and complex. It faces constrained funding, commercialisation skills gaps, and internationally our competitors are investing deeply in R&D to secure a competitive advantage.” 

“Australia needs to tackle these issues so we can create the “future powered by science” called for by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and to ensure that we are a nation of creators, not consumers of other countries’ technology and science.” 

“Key to that challenge will be urgent and deep investment in R&D, particularly from our business sector. The initial steps the Federal Government has taken through its recent Future Made in Australia investments puts the country on a pathway to encouraging business to lift its investment, but further support, engagement and incentivisation is needed to make sure that all parts of the R&D ecosystem are working together to reach a target of investing 3% of GDP.” 

“We also need to ensure that our current and emerging STEM leaders have the skills they need to commercialise their ideas and thrive in corporate boardrooms. STA has a significant role to play here, and our Bench to Boardroom plan would turbo-charge the nation’s capacity by training the first generation of scientist entrepreneurs.” 

“Finally, our knowledge economy can’t reach its full potential if we have blind spots. That means consistently encouraging diversity through opportunity, and it means deeply valuing the role that Indigenous knowledges can offer innovation and society. I’m looking forward to working with STA’s Indigenous-led member organisations to support, promote and champion their work.” 

Taken from Science & Technology Australia Media Release on May 23, 2024.

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