Meet the hosts

Owen Atkin

Prof. Owen Atkin,
Director CEAT, ANU.

In his role as CEAT Director, Owen is passionate about expanding the career options of young researchers, particularly in the agriculture industry. He is also committed to building stronger relationships between ANU, CSIRO, industry and government. In March 2019, Owen was named the ANU Vice-Chancellor’s Entrepreneurial Professor in recognition of his work in creating an innovation ecosystem in Canberra that develops cross-disciplinary solutions to agricultural problems. A major focus of Owen’s research is understanding how changes in the environment affect the processes that underpin plant growth, both in crops and natural ecosystems. Owen heads the Atkin Research Group at the ANU Research School of Biology.

See Owen’s introduction to the H2O Hackathon here.

Prof. Ross Thompson,
Director and Chair, Centre for Applied Water Science, UC.

Ross is Director and Chair of Water Science in the Institute for Applied Ecology at the University of Canberra. Ross is a freshwater ecologist with interests in the study of biodiversity and the restoration of landscapes. His applied research addresses the ways in which food webs can be influenced by anthropogenic factors including urbanisation, land clearance, pharmaceutical contamination, river flow diversion and restoration, and invasion. He has an active research program on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem function in urban and rural landscapes. His work has strong links to government and industry, and Ross sits on a number of senior technical advisory panels for local, state and federal research programs.

Petr Adamek
CEO, Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN).

Petr Adamek is an innovation and entrepreneurship expert with over 25 years of international experience in building innovation ecosystems and helping companies grow. Petr is originally from the Czech Republic, where he worked extensively in the innovation sector. From 2010 to 2015, Petr lived and worked in New Zealand, where he managed a business incubator with an integrated co-working space. Petr currently works for the Canberra Innovation Network as its Chief Executive. The Canberra Innovation Network delivers programs for entrepreneurs and operates a community focused co-working space in Canberra, Australia.

Dianna Sommerville,
Community Manager, Bridge Hub.

Dianna Somerville is the Community Manager for Bridge Hub – an agrifood tech innovation hub based in Wagga Wagga, Sydney and Israel. Bridge Hub focuses on commercialisation and global connectivity for the Australian agrifood sector through its launch and landing pad activities.  Dianna is a regional innovation expert and founder the Regional Pitchfest program that saw over 80 events being held across regional and rural Australia. She helped found the Charles Sturt University AgriTech Incubator, AgriHack and the Australian Innovation Leaders group. Dianna is focused on ecosystem connectivity between the regions and metro/global opportunities. Dianna is leading the Bridge Hub 2020 Water Challenge and building collaboration between Bridge Hub and the ACT innovation participants.