IP Australia at the NYSF

After signing on as a major funding partner for the first time in 2016, IP Australia was actively involved in the program for the NYSF 2017 January Sessions. In both Session A & C, IP Australia ran lab visits for the students, introducing them to the world of intellectual property, patents, trademarking and more.

The site visit included a number of activities, starting with an explanation of intellectual property and why it is so important. As an interactive activity the students were each given a KeepCup and asked to think about the design of the product that made it unique, with relation to Intellectual Property rights.

The students had the opportunity to speak with a number of IP Australia Patent Examiners over afternoon tea to discover more on the work they do there. Finally, to finish off the session, the students heard from an entrepreneur about their experience applying for Intellectual Property rights and protecting their inventions.

For many of the NYSF participants this was an aspect of STEM that they had not considered, but realised just how important it could be to their future careers and endeavours. It also showed them another area where they could potentially use their STEM skills in the future, with IP Australia employing hundreds of scientists, engineers and other professionals, all around the country.

“I enjoyed the light this visit shed on careers I had not previously considered, it offered me a fresh perspective on job opportunities in a work environment that I found appealing,” said Jack Roussos (Session A 2017) from NSW.

Representatives from IP Australia also attended the Opening Ceremony at Parliament House, the Science Dinners, and both of the Partners’ Day events where they presented to all of the students, had a stall at the expo and involved a number of IP Australia staff in the Speed-date-a-Scientist session. You can read more about IP Australia’s involvement in the NYSF here in their own coverage of the events.

Matt Lee (Right) from IP Australia at the Session A NYSF Science Dinner

GSK inspiring the next generation of scientists

With much of the world’s future innovation to come from science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), it is important that the innovators of tomorrow are supported and mentored.

The funding partners of the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) play an important role in supporting the organisation and the programs it delivers.

GSK Australia has provided funding support for the NYSF over several years.

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GSK’s David Herd, Director of Healthcare Environment talks to NYSF participants

In 2015, GSK’s David Herd, Director of Healthcare Environment, presented to the NYSF participants as part of the Partners’ Day activities. His presentation made an impact on one of the students, Nikita Bungay from Victoria. Now studying at Monash University’s Science Advanced Global Challenges program, and as part of her studies, Nikita needed to interview someone who inspired her; she decided to reach out to David.

“One of the greatest experiences I had was at the NYSF Partners’ Day, where I heard David talk about what had inspired him, and how his company reaches out to the broader world through their work. His talk motivated me to do something which would also make a difference, and that is why I chose my course, which I am confident will help me to achieve this goal,” Nikita said.

NYSF CEO, Dr Damien Pearce highlights this as an example of the ways that the NYSF’s funding partners go that extra mile in supporting the organisation and its programs. “Organisations such as GSK really understand the kind of support that our young people need, and are willing to provide.”

GSK Australia is proud to regularly host tours for NYSF students during the Melbourne Next Step program. They visit its Boronia manufacturing facility in Victoria and see how life-saving medications are made; in 2016, they will see GSK Australia’s new and innovative blow-fill-seal vaccine technology.

Since 2012, over 150 school students have toured GSK Australia’s facilities.

“These site tours contribute to what makes the NYSF unique for Australian STEM students,” said Dr Pearce, “and our corporate partners are key to our and the program’s success. Having access to view the kinds of innovations made in industry all of the time contribute to inspiring our young people.”