DR Mike Briers AO

Mike is the CEO of Food Agility, Mike was named in the Knowledge Nation 100 as Australia’s chief evangelist for big data and the internet of things (IoT) and appointed Australia’s first Industry Professor of IoT at UTS. He is currently the Founding CEO of the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre to empower Australia’s food industry to grow its comparative advantage through digital service innovation. Mike is a co-founder and Director of the Internet of Things Alliance Australia and the Knowledge Economy Institute

Mike’s pioneering efforts in fintech and e-research led to the global success of SIRCA and the founding of big data company RoZetta, e-research service provider Intersect Australia, and co-founding of Capital Markets CRC and AgTech business, The Yield.


Phil Morle - Committee Chair

Phil Morle is a General Partner at the CSIRO's Innovation Fund - Main Sequence Ventures.

His mission is to transform Australia's world-class research into massive global businesses. Before that, Phil also co-founded Australia's first Silicon Valley style incubator, Pollenizer and is well known as a 'founding father' of the Australian start-up ecosystem. While at Pollenizer, he pioneered silo-busting innovation programs in agriculture including projects for CSIRO, NSW Department of Primary Industry and various RDCs.

Dr Oliver Wolst

Dr. Oliver Wolst is Regional President of Robert Bosch’s Automotive Electronics division in

Australia with a portfolio ranging from power diodes manufacturing to product development of body computers and cyber secure gateways for global automotive OEMs, as well as IoT solutions, e.g. for Smart Agriculture. He is holding a PhD in Physics from the Friedrich-Alexander-University in Erlangen (Germany) and pursued postdoctoral research on UV emitting laser diodes at XEROX’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) at Stanford, California. After joining Bosch in 2004 as a Management Trainee in Stuttgart he was driving research on electrochemically activated high temperature semiconductors for automotive exhaust gas sensing. In 2007 he took over the responsibility for engineering and manufacturing of laser based distance measurement tools within the business unit Power Tools. Mid 2010 he relocated to Singapore for expanding the Corporate Research activities of the Robert Bosch group to Asia Pacific (Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo). Dr. Wolst is a Feodor-Lynen-Fellow of the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation.

Mr Michael Bullen

Michael Bullen - BScFor (ANU), MBA (UNE), is Deputy Director General, DPI Investment and Business Development (DDG DPI)  and Chief Executive of the NSW Rural Assistance Authority. This role is responsible for developing DPI’s new framework for Research and Development, including business structures and funding as well as the establishment of the GATE (Global AgTech Ecosystem) at Orange NSW.

Prior to this role Mr Bullen was responsible for DPI Agriculture which undertakes Research, Development and Education to improve the profitability and productivity of the agricultural sector.

Before joining DPI Agriculture Mr Bullen was Chief Executive of the Sydney Catchment Authority and prior to this worked for Forests NSW across both plantation and native forest management. All of these roles have involved working to strike the right balance of commercial, social, economic and environmental outcomes. 

Mr Bullen Chairs the National Research and Innovation Committee which is charged with overseeing investment in Primary Industries Research and Development Framework across all of the industry sectors including grains, cotton, livestock, wine and grape and horticulture.

Dr debra cousins

Dr Cousins has made a significant contribution to agriculture in Western Australia (WA), both as a researcher and in senior management roles, and has supported the sector at a senior level nationally. She has extensive experience in working at the interface of government, universities and industry in agriculture and food, and other sectors. She also has a sound understanding of and experience working in biosecurity and regulation over many years, including at the national level. She is well regarded for her strengths in policy, strategic thinking and stakeholder engagement.

Research: Dr Cousins has had a productive career as a researcher in the WA Department of Agriculture and Food with almost 100 collaborative scientific publications in international journals (h-index 40). Through this research Dr Cousins has demonstrated a strong focus on outcomes that will meet end-user needs.

Leadership: Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Executive leadership roles in the Australian Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (ABCRC), (2003-09) where she held an Adjunct Professorial role, was Director of Application and Linkage (focused on research adoption and partner linkages) and a member of the AB-CRC’s Research Program Investment Committee for six years, and Deputy CEO for over a year.

Deputy Director General - Industry Development (2009-10), and Director - Strategy, Innovation and Design in the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (2010-14). International experience providing advice to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Organisation for Animal Health, and invited speaker at numerous international conferences.

Served six years (2003-09) on the WA Premier’s Science Council providing strategic policy and investment advice to the State Government on all aspects of science policy. Led the WA Department of Agriculture and Food’s $26.7 million cross-sector Boosting Biosecurity Defences project for two and a half years before taking up a position as Director, Office of Science, in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet in January 2017. Currently Director, Science and Innovation Division, in the newly formed WA Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

Prof Bronwyn Harch

As Executive Director of the Institute for Future Environments at QUT Professor Harch leads transdisciplinary research efforts – where industry, government and community co-develop with QUT researchers a range of initiatives to address global challenges and build a strong Australia with a competitive economy. 

Prof Harch is an applied statistician with 21 years’ experience undertaking research focused at the nexus of agricultural and environmental systems. 

As the Food Agility CRC’s Research Director, Professor Bronwyn Harch will provide high-level research and innovation leadership. Bronwyn will lead the development, implementation and communication of the research and innovation strategy.

Garry Gale

Head of Agribusiness Development & Asia Desk at National Australia Bank.

Career banker (40 years) who has a passion for helping people to be their best and achieve their goals. With a real interest in Australian agriculture and with the drive and experience to find better ways to support farmers' funding, deposit, transactional and wealth management needs. Natural value and sustainability are important to Garry.