Top award for South Australian innovator

Professor Alex Grant receives the Pearcey Entrepreneur Award for SA

A telecommunications engineer at the University of South Australia has received a major award for his entrepreneurial work in the Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) sector.

Professor Alex Grant, who is Director of UniSA’s Institute for Telecommunications Research (ITR), has received the Pearcey Entrepreneur Award for South Australia.

The Pearcey Award is given to a young, mid-career individual in each state.

Congratulating Professor Grant, University of South Australia Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd, says the Pearcey Award recognised the important relationship between research excellence and the application of research ideas in a real world framework.

“Alex has that exciting mix of intellect, innovation and entrepreneurship that is so important for the University and for the community,” Professor Lloyd says.

“His ingenuity, hard work and willingness to follow through his ideas and build the successful teams that take ideas and turn them into a successful business or a vital innovation make him the perfect candidate for this award. UniSA is proud of his achievements.”

Prof Grant’s research focusses on the mathematical foundations of communications.

The highest ranked student in his graduating year at the University of South Australia in 1993, he went on to win a Young Tall Poppy Science Award.

Based on research done at the Institute for Telecommunications Research, Prof Grant together with colleagues Dr Paul Alexander and Dr Lars Rasmussen co-founded spin-off company Cohda Wireless in 2004.

Cohda Wireless is the company behind the so-called ‘talking cars’ – an advanced wireless communications technology which allows cars to communicate with each-other to avoid accidents.

The Pearcey Award recognises people who have “taken a risk, made a difference and been an inspiration in the Australian ICT and Digital Media industries”, says Pearcey Foundation chairman Wayne Fitzsimmons, who presented the award at KPMG last night.

“This ‘winner’ is one of a handful of engineers and scientists working in a University environment who comprehends how critical it is to make a bridge between academia and industry for the future economic development of Australia,” Mr Fitzsimmons said.

The Pearcey Foundation draws its name from Dr Trevor Pearcey who in 1949 led the team that built CSIRAC, Australia’s first programmable electronic digital computer.

For more information and interviews, please contact Professor Alex Grant, 0417 887 914, or Jeff Kasparian, 0408 838 660, Institute for Telecommunications Research, University of South Australia.

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