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Deputy Director General, Research Excellence, NSW Department of Primary Industires

The DPI Research & Business Excellence Branch is led by Dr John Tracey. John joined the DPI Executive Team in March 2018 from DPI’s Orange Agricultural Institute (OAI), home of the GATE, where he was Institute Director, Research Leader Pests and Weeds as well as being the Research Director of the highly successful Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre. DPI has been an influential partner in this national Centre under John’s respected approach to scientific leadership, innovation and capacity building.



 Partner Sparklabs Global Ventures

Eugene is currently the Partner of Sparklabs and manages the day –to-day operations of the Sparklabs accelerator program.

Eugene previously served as a Director of Global Business Development at Tencent Korea. He was responsible for the sourcing of Korean game titles to China and Tencent’s global publishing network, headed the global sales of Tencent game titles, and he managed relationships with Tencent’s global publishing partners.

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Chief Executive Officer, Hort Innovation  Australia

Matt Brand brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, most recently from his previous role as the long-term CEO of NSW Farmers, Australia’s largest state farmer organisation.

In this role, Matt drove a strategic, structural and cultural change agenda within NSW Farmers. He has a solid track record of strong agricultural organisational leadership and driving a strategic change agenda. He has also held senior marketing, commercial and sponsorship roles in the fast-moving consumer goods industry and professional sport.



Co-Founder, Managing Partner of Ankur Capital, India

Dr Ritu Verma Co-Founder, Managing Partner Ritu is one of the co-founders at Ankur. She is passionate about bringing innovation from lab to the market and did that for a decade across corporates - Unilever and Philips. She has also worked globally investing in IP led renewable technologies. She has a PhD in physics from University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from INSEAD. Ankur Capital has a key start up focus of ag and food tech and med tech.



Chief Scientists Office, NSW Department of Primary Industrties

Hugh Goold works for NSW DPI Chief Scientist Branch working in the field of Synthetic Biology. He is currently building chromosome XVI of the worlds first man made eukaryotic genome with Heinrich Kroukamp of Macquarie University, as a part of the global Yeast 2.0 project. Hugh's role is to help realise the impacts synthetic biology will have on the primary industries of NSW, ranging from fisheries and forestry through to cropping livestock and agriculture. Hugh has previously worked at UCL, Sydney University the Université Aix Marseille and the French Nuclear and Alternative Energy Commission (CEA).



Group Director, Business Development and Innovation, NSW Department of Primary Industries

Bruce Finney, joined the NSW DPI in January 2019. Bruce's role includes the oversight of innovation and research commercialisation initiatives across the DPI including the GATE program. Bruce was formerly the Executive Director of the Cotton Research and Development Corporation where he initiated programs for entrepreneurs and internal business innovation to increase the impact of investment in RD&E for the cotton industry.

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Manager GATE, Business Development and Innovation, NSW Department of Primary Industries

Carolynne has over 20 years experience in strategic and policy advice to state and local
government with management roles in the NSW Cabinet Office, the NSW and Northern
Territory Parliaments, and the City of Sydney Council. She has been the leader of the
GATE Project – Global Ag-tech Ecosystem, launched in March 2018 in Orange.

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