[article by Charles Gent, Flinders University]
Flinders biomedical engineer Professor Karen Reynolds has been named as one of the Knowledge Nation 100, a group of visionaries, intellects, founders and game changers seen as the foremost contributors to Australia’s knowledge economy.
Identified by the Office of the Chief Scientist, the Australian newspaper and the Knowledge Society, the Knowledge Nation 100 are described as the people “building the industries and infrastructure that will underwrite Australia’s future prosperity”. They were celebrated at a lunch in Sydney today attended by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Professor Reynolds has contributed through her own research in biomedical product development, and also as Director of South Australia’s Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP), a highly successful initiative that seeks to streamline the development of new medical devices and assistive technologiesby creating collaborations between researchers, industry, end-users and government.
While honoured by her own inclusion, Professor Reynolds she was especially pleased at the increasing profile of innovation in public policy.
“Innovation is of fundamental importance to the economic future of Australia and it needs the backing of both public and private sectors,” Professor Reynolds said.
“It is also really heartening to see the Government’s acknowledgment that science and research are crucial to the growth of the knowledge economy.”
Flinders Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling said Professor Reynolds’ selection was highly appropriate, and reflected her inspirational role in biomedical engineering nationally.
“The Medical Device Research Institute at Flinders headed by Professor Reynolds exemplifies innovative research that engages with business and is an integral part of the University’s strategic support for South Australia’s transformation to a high-tech economy,” Professor Stirling said.
Widely recognised for her leadership and influence in the field, Professor Reynolds was made South Australian Scientist of the Year in 2012, and has been named three times among Australia’s 100 most influential engineers by her profession’s peak body, Engineers Australia.
The individuals comprising the Knowledge Nation 100 will be profiled in a lift-out in the Australian on Friday, December 11.