29 May, 2012The peak body representing Australia's 39 universities, Universities Australia, today welcomed the appointment of Professor Aidan Byrne as the new head of the Australian Research Council (ARC).
"With a wealth of research and management experience that spans decades, Professor Byrne will be an asset to the ARC and Australia's research community," said Chief Executive, Belinda Robinson.
"Professor Byrne will have a key role in assisting our universities drive the innovation essential for Australia's future productivity and global competitiveness.
"His industry knowledge and expertise will be particularly valued as our universities continue to further strengthen their partnerships with Australia's business community.
"Professor Byrne's ability to clearly communicate complex science and research will also help to bring science and research into the mainstream.
"Professor Byrne's skill in translating complex issues into language that we can all understand was clearly demonstrated last year in his many public explanations of the science behind Japan's nuclear crisis.
"We look forward to forming a strong working relationship with Professor Byrne to advance Australia's innovation, productivity and prosperity," said Ms Robinson.
Ms Robinson also took the opportunity to thank former Chief Executive Officer, Professor Margaret Sheil, for her hard work and commitment over the last five years.
"Professor Sheil did an outstanding job and secured a number of impressive achievements, including assisting in the implementation of the Government's multibillion dollar innovation agenda, Powering Ideas, and the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative," Ms Robinson said.
Professor Byrne will commence as CEO on Monday, 23 July.