2013 SA Award

19 June 2013 Adelaide

The 2013 South Australia Pearcey Entrepreneur of the year award was presented to Dr Alex Grant, Director of the ITR at the University of South Australia at the SA iAwards gala presentation event held at KPMG boardroom (Pirie St) Adelaide on 19 June 2013.

“Run a risk, made a difference and inspired others” were the introductory remarks made by Dr Craig Mudge, Pearcey Hall of Famer, when giving the background to the 2013 SA Pearcey State Award winner. “These are the defining characteristics the Pearcey Foundation looks for when awarding the Pearcey State Entrepreneur Awards each year”, Dr Mudge said.

Dr Alex Grant

Dr Alex Grant is an outstanding individual who has had a distinguished career since graduating with First Class Honours from the University of South Australia in May 1993 as an Electrical Engineer. Alex completed his PhD from the same august institution in December 1997 focussed on Communications and Information Theory. In the twenty years since graduating Alex has demonstrated leadership and intellect and now heads up the Institute for Telecommunications Research – a research body that is globally recognised as a centre of excellence in research, education, and technology development for wireless communications with fixed, mobile, satellite and terrestrial applications.

“Dr Grant has demonstrated something very special. Not only has he shown a willingness to work closely with industry but he has actually founded a company based on the R&D undertaken in his lab” Dr Mudge, commented further. This is a common characteristic in Adelaide as the 2010 winner of the SA Pearcey Awards Professor Anton van den Hengel (University of Adelaide) had also started his own venture whilst remaining in his academic career. Dr Grant has also sustained a long contribution at both the highest of academic levels and cutting edge applied research. He has played a leadership role in bringing Australian communications research into the international spotlight, is a multi-award winning member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Information Theory Society and is currently leading groups of theoretical information theorists, applied researchers and engineers, building field prototypes across some of the most advanced technology areas.

Commercialising inventions created in a federally funded academic institution is not yet as commonplace in Australia as it should and needs to be. Dr Grant is one of a handful of engineers and scientists working in a University environment who comprehends how critical this bridging between academia and industry is, for the future economic development of our great nation. Thinking of new ways to foster appropriate connections, lifting collaboration and helping industry reach markets both in our region and further afield is something that is clearly in the sights of this visionary. In 2006, Dr Grant also co-founded with Dr Paul Alexander and Dr Lars Rasmussen, Cohda Wireless , an early stage WiFi wireless vendor creating a state of the art radio-on-a-chip design and production company in Adelaide, South Australia.