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2023 MIT Perth Symposium

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Event description

The prestigious MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT REAP) is coming to Western Australia from June 25th - July 1st. (Read the announcement here). 

During this visit, on Friday 30th June, Woodside Energy and Rio Tinto are co-hosting a 2023 ILP (Industrial Liaison Program) Perth Symposium, as a “meeting of the ecosystems.” 

Regional startups can apply for sponsorship to attend this event here.

What is MIT REAP?

MIT REAP is a dynamic global initiative that engages with communities around the world to strengthen innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystems and transform economies.

The program admits a cohort of up to eight regions annually to participate in the two-year learning engagement with MIT. A representative group from Western Australian has been working on the program during the current cohort.

What will be covered at the 2023 MIT Perth Symposium?

This is a rare opportunity for the entire innovation and entrepreneurship community to learn from and interact with representatives of the MIT faculty, while also engaging in lively promotion of WA's active innovation ecosystem and showcasing WA’s strengths in creating sustainable growth in a suite of industries, including new industry development, climate and renewables.

The symposium will be opened by Minister Dawson and provide three connected sessions:

  1. Innovation Ecosystem Development – discussing the building of a supportive sustainable innovation-driven entrepreneur ecosystem through presentations by Scott Stern and Phil Budden from MIT and concludes with a panel discussion hosted by the Perth Lord Mayor but including Executives from Rio Tinto and Woodside together with the Curtin Vice Chancellor and the WA Chief Scientist.

  2. Start Ups – introducing how to bridge the corporate and start up gap through a presentation from the director of the MIT start up exchange, Catarina Madeira. This will be followed by lightning talks from MIT start ups: PolyJoule (grid-firming storage); Nth Cycle (battery recycling, rare earths extraction); Amogy (ammonia-fueled mobility); Swift Solar (super-efficient multilayer perovskite solar cells); Sublime Systems (carbon-negative concrete) – and matched with WA start ups. This session will conclude with corporate reverse pitches from Woodside, Rio Tinto and Western Power.

  3. New Energy – Keynote from the MIT Energy Initiative director (Professor Robert Armstrong) exploring the challenges faced in the journey towards decarbonisation, matched with a Woodside case study and concluded with a panel discussion

Full Agenda:

8:30 AM: Welcome and Introductions

8:30 AM: Welcome to Country - Richard Wally

8:40 AM: Opening with Hon Stephen Dawson MLC, Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy, Government of Western Australia

8:50 AM: MIT and the Industrial Liaison Program, Ron Spangler, Program Director, MIT Corporate Relations

9:00 AM: The Role of Corporate Accelerators and Ventures in a Thriving Innovation Ecosystem, Scott Stern, Professor, Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management and David Sarnoff Professor of Management of Technology, MIT Sloan School of Management

9:30 AM: Building a Strong Entrepreneurial Community, Phil Budden, Senior Lecturer, Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management, MIT Sloan School of Management

10:00 AM: Team WA Report: The MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program Process, and How to Engage, Neil Freeman, Manager of Innovation, Rio Tinto

10:10 AM: Panel Discussion: Possible Entrepreneurial Futures for Western Australia

11:00 AM: The David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice, and MIT Australia and New Zealand Internships, Brian Stutts, Station Director & Lecturer, School of Chemical Engineering Practice and Sean Gilbert, Managing Director

11:10 AM: Morning Tea

11:30 AM: The MIT Startup Exchange: Bridging The Corporate-Startup Gap, Catarina Madeira, Director, MIT Startup Exchange

12:00 PM: Startup Lightning Talks

1:00 PM: Lunch With Startup Exhibition

2:20 PM: Corporate Reverse Pitch with Rio Tinto, Woodside and Western Power

3:00 PM: The MIT Energy Initiative and Industrial Decarbonisation, Robert Armstrong, Chevron Professor of Chemical Engineering, Director, MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI)

3:30 PM: The New Energy Journey at Woodside, Jason Crusan, Vice President, New Energy Solutions, Woodside Energy

4:00 PM: Panel Discussion: The Zero-Carbon Energy Future

4:40 PM: Closing Remarks

For more information on each agenda item, click here.


Cost: There will be a cost of $95 for in-person attendance, and funds will be used to sponsor regional entrepreneur attendance.

Location: Woodside - Cara Auditorium, 11 Mount St, Perth WA 6000, Australia

Date: Fri 30th June 2023, 8:30 am - 4:40 pm AWST

For regional startups: Regional startups are invited to apply for sponsorship to attend the MIT Perth Innovation Symposium on Friday, 30th June. This is an excellent opportunity to network with like-minded innovators, learn from the best in the business, and gain valuable insights that can help you grow your business. Regional startups can apply for sponsorship directly here: 

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