Announcing the appointment of the PVC Research Innovation

20 September 2019


Macquarie University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Isak (Sakkie) Pretorius today announced the appointment of Professor Dan Johnson to the new role of Pro Vice-Chancellor Research Innovation.

The role has been established as part of the broader Macquarie Research Strategy, which has focused on strengthening research capabilities, enabling cross-disciplinary inquiry and pursuing a diversity of impact through challenge-focused research that underpins innovation.

“The PVC Research Innovation will provide strategic leadership on all matters relating to research and development, innovation, translation and commercialisation,” Professor Pretorius said.

The role oversees the implementation of processes that incubate and sustain research and development, including research relationships that are mutually beneficial to both the University and its partners. Through the Office of Commercialisation and Innovation, the role will facilitate the take-up of the University’s Intellectual Property by external parties.

“Professor Johnson comes to Macquarie with a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the key strategic issues and opportunities in the national and global research development and commercialisation space,” Professor Pretorius said.

“He also has a strong track record as an effective leader who has both academic research and entrepreneurial commercial realisation skills and proven strategic planning experience, particularly in the development of commercial partnerships in the context of academic research and development.

“We’re delighted to have him on board to drive out the next phase of our research strategy.”

Professor Johnson said: “Macquarie has a strong reputation in research and in the translation of that research. I’m delighted to be joining the team supporting the University to continue its efforts to achieve research excellence with local, national and global impact.

Professor Johnson will commence at Macquarie on 1 February 2020.

About Professor Dan Johnson

Professor Johnson has been the Managing Director of The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) since 2011. Founded in 1955, the AWRI is one of the world’s most highly regarded agricultural research institutions.

He has worked in research leadership, technology transfer and innovation for nearly 20 years and been instrumental in driving various initiatives in the agricultural research, development, extension, technology transfer and innovation communities in Australia. Professor Johnson has also been closely involved in the scientific disciplines of genomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics, systems biology and synthetic biology and their application to agricultural industries.

Professor Johnson has been directly involved in raising and/or administering >$200 million for research institutes, start-up companies and venture capital firms and has been directly involved in establishing nine biotechnology start-up companies, one of which was formed with his doctoral research collaborators to commercialise his doctoral research outcomes.

He holds a PhD in Chemistry from Flinders University and an MBA from The University of Adelaide, and has undertaken executive education at Harvard University, Oxford University, IESE Business School and INSEAD Business School. His awards include the BioSA Young Achiever of the Year in South Australian Bioscience. He has been an Honorary Adjunct Professor at Macquarie University since 2013

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