Introducing CEAT: The Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology – an ANU, CSIRO, ACT Government Initiative


9 April 2019

Time and Venues

Venues Local Time Time Zone
Adelaide Waite Campus – B101-FG-R00-SmallWICWest 12:00 pm ACST
Armidale – B55-FG-R00-Small 12:30 pm AEST
Bribie Island – B01-FG-Small 12:30 pm AEST
Brisbane St Lucia QBP – Room 3.323 12:30 pm AEST
Canberra Black Mountain – Discovery Lecture Theatre 12:30 pm AEST
Irymple (See Natalie Strickland) 12:30 pm AEST
Narrabri Myall Vale – Conference Room 12:30 pm AEST
Perth Floreat B40-F1-R46-Rossiter Room 10:30 am AWST
Sandy Bay (Hobart) – River View Room 12:30 pm AEST
Toowoomba – Meeting Room 12:30 pm AEST
Townsville (see Liz Do) 12:30 pm AEST
Werribee (Melbourne) – Peacock Room 12:30 pm AEST


Dr Mary T Kelly, Director, CEAT


CEAT is critical for the agri-tech sector and belongs in Canberra. Our transformative approach to agri-technology will deliver the right business ecosystem, accelerate innovation to create wealth and jobs, and bring business investment into the ACT.  The ACT’s unique access to government and industry leaders, world-class research at ANU and CSIRO, and the powerful CBRIN network, is the perfect environ for CEAT’s specialisation in entrepreneurial agri-technology.

CEAT was launched in August 2018. Since then CEAT has opened its Innovation Hub in the Gould Building on the ANU campus, with 5 resident ag-tech start-ups: Gondwana Genomics, Flurosat, PPB, QuestaGame and Wildlife Drones. CEAT’s other activities have laid the foundations for a unique pipeline where world-class research and technology is targeted to agricultural challenges, irrespective of traditional discipline boundaries. CEAT is distinct from other ag-tech ecosystems, many of which are built around a single incubator or accelerator, have a specific regional focus or have emerged from a particular agricultural sub-sector.

CEAT’s model is cognisant of traditional barriers of science-push versus industry-pull, and the publication test versus the pub test for adoptability, and CEAT will focus on expediting programs of cultural change within our ecosystem. Our Innovation Project Teams are designed to absorb and bypass traditional barriers to industry-informed research. Success is defined by creation of a viable ecosystem where globally relevant agri-tech solutions are co-created, tested, commercialised and adopted. We will populate and catalyse the agri-tech innovation pipeline and create new jobs and careers. Success is defined by realising new skills and pathways for current and future innovators, influencers and leaders critical to agri-tech. Finally, leading by example demands that CEAT thrives through continuous improvement in our governance and evaluation models ensuring we are successful and resilient in driving the diverse ecosystem we have established.

About the speaker

Dr Mary T Kelly commenced as inaugural Director, CEAT on 11 February 2019. Mary comes to CEAT with 19 years’ experience driving performance and creating strong, responsible culture, while leading and integrating research and strategic agendas across organisations and sectors. Mary’s track record has included delivery of program and policy initiatives at an executive level in complex organisations both nationally and internationally. Prior to CEAT, Mary was Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research, Development and Industry) at Charles Sturt University. During her time at CSU, Mary lead the implementation of a new Research Narrative which shaped the research focus and agenda for the university, established the first three Incubators at the University, and established the AgriPark at Wagga Wagga.

Mary’s roles prior to CSU included Branch Manager, Strategy and Programs during her 4+ years at the Australian Research Council; Director Research Services at University of Canberra; and, Senior Scientific Program Officer during her 3+ years at Science Foundation Ireland. Mary completed her PhD in Microbiology as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Georgia (Athens GA, USA) and her BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry at University College Dublin.

Mary’s passion for the CEAT role is to use her in-depth understanding of the complexities of collaborative research, innovation and R&D to build CEAT as an effective interface between research and the agricultural sector – defined as agriculture the industry not the just the primary producer. Mary is driven to see CEAT bring together research, government, industry and commercial stakeholders towards shared outcomes – to realise the true value of research and the adoption of research outcomes to achieve sustainable change.

This is a public seminar.

Open-access to The CSIRO Discovery Theatre @ Black Mountain