2012 ACT Award

15 November 2012 Canberra

The 2012 ACT Pearcey Award was presented to Dr Vikram Sharma on Thursday evening 15th November at the Boat House by the Lake as part of the ACS ACT Branch annual Canberra ICT Awards night.

The ACS in the ACT and the Pearcey Foundation have been collaborating on this event for the past five years and attracted more than 90 ICT professionals from the territory to the gala dinner. In presenting the Pearcey Award, Mr Alan Patterson, CEO of ACS (and member of the National management committee for the ACS), commented on the depth of Australia innovative talent across Australia and spoke of the need to encourage more yopunger people to seek careers in ICT given the dearth of graduates from our national tertiary educational institutions.

Dr Vikram Sharma

Dr Vikram Sharma, CEO and Founder of QuintessenceLabs, an early stage company focused on techniques and technologies to protect data, trade secrets,and national security assets. As Dr Sharma was in California at his US Laboratories, the award was received on his behalf by Scott Rashleigh, a mentor to Vikram and board member of QuintessenceLabs.

In announcing the winner of the 2012 ACT Pearcey Award winner, the Chairman of the National Committee of the Pearcey Foundation summarised the outstanding capabilities of Dr Vikram Sharma.

“Tonight’s winner demonstrates the defining characteristics of those who are awarded the Pearcey younger entrepreneurs crown. This young man has run risks for the whole of his relative short business career. Somehow he has managed to balance starting several successful businesses including one in India, doing a masters degree in Computer Science at ANU (1997) followed by a Master of Science in Management as a Sloan Fellow at Stanford University (2002) then capping it off wit h a PhD in Quantum Information and Cryptography at the ANU in 2007. Somewhere in this busy schedule he also managed to get married and have two children. This young Australian has a made a difference right here in the nation’s Capital by founding his latest venture in 2008 to develop frontier-of-science research in quantum key distribution conceived at ANU, into globally competitive cybersecurity technologies with major focus on National Security, Banking and Insurance, health and critical infrastructure markets. His company looks at the enterprise environment from end-to-end and creates solutions that allow customers to secure and effectively manage data-at-rest, data-in-motion and data-in-use. Already he and his company have been recognised through receiving several prestigious awards over the last two years culminating in being named joint winner in the 2012 IBM Smart Camp Asia-Pacific Final in September.

The Pearcey Foundation is delighted to announce Dr Vikram Sharma as the winner of the 2012 ACT Pearcey Entrepreneur Award. Vikram is an inspiration to his co-workers and to many who have come into contact with him. Unfortunately he cannot be with us this evening as he was called to a meeting at his California office to be held today. Here to accept the award in his stead is Scott Rashleigh who can say a few words about Vikram as he has been advisor to Vikram and his company for some years.”


Additionally, the judging panel decided to recognise a 16 year old Year 11 student, Joshua Luongo, with a highly commended certificate and cash award. Joshua has illustrated the true entrepreneurial spirit by developing an administrative iPhone app for his school (Hawker College in Canberra) and fellow students. He is the classic exemplar of the new generation of entrepreneurs - he had his first computer at age 3! Now with the Apple iPhone/iPad environment, he can’t help himself.

In 2010 Joshua developed an iPhone App that allows students to check themselves into Maths Classes using QR codes. Pretty soon School management embraced the idea, extended it to enable users to view school announcements, student diary, detailed guidelines on how to connect to the school network, access on-line text books, calendars, school map and the list gets longer and longer as it is embraced as part of the daily scene at the college. This free App from the AppStore is used by more than 300 students daily to register attendance at various classes. This student was recently invited to present this “Hawker App” to an audience of higher education academics and software developers as part of the first Augmented Reality Camp at the University of Canberra’s Inspire Centre. Clearly this young man is on his way to continue to expand his ICT knowledge and skills formally and informally. The industry will look forward to hearing more of his inspirational efforts in the years to come.