Innovator in Residence program

The Innovator in Residence (IiR) program aims to provide proactive mentoring and support to small-medium enterprises in the Northern Territory (NT).

The program aims to increase the survival rate of small businesses, help commercialise research and development, create and retain jobs in the NT, improve the local economy, and increase opportunities for partnerships between the public and private sector.

For entrepreneurs, the IiR program is a business diagnostic that brings a unique opportunity to work with an expert, accelerating the business performance and the commercialisation potential.

The IiR program can support your business by introducing you to:

  • investors with access to finance
  • knowledge partners and universities across Australia and internationally
  • intellectual property (IP) experts and key IP lawyers
  • Australian and international business networks.

The IiR program can also assist with the Business Innovation Program applications, for more information go to the Northern Territory Government website.


Rebecca Murray

Dr Rebecca Murray is currently working as the director of the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance at Charles Darwin University to drive industry engagement, vocational education and training partnerships, and research on a world-first 3D metal printing technology from SPEE3D.

Rebecca's background is in both Biomedical Engineering (Dr Ing, MSc) and Materials Engineering (BSc) with substantial experience in international collaborations between industry and academia.

Portrait shot of Emma Nesbitt

Emma is a consultant across regional Australia with a background in business intelligence and business process management. A strong influencer of change and modernisation, hands on, experienced across multiple states and territories within Australian Territories and its neighbours, working to establish national collaborations.

Emma has worked with shires, industry bodies and public offices to develop project framework prioritisation tools to be used to assess project funding requirements and action bodies, as well as the development of frameworks allowing private investment into public assets and projects.

Emma works with Angel investment networks, as well as Series A to C investors across a range of industries including agriculture, renewable energy, technology, freight and logistics, infrastructure and social enterprise, analysing the identification of involvements, pre-project analysis and risk identification, pre-project management and documentation, assessments of probability and impact, identification of project drivers, highlighting project constraints, identifying functional requirements, non-functional matters and project issues, ongoing risk management, political and transactional risk management.

She is able to identify catalyst projects which fit alongside other regional priorities whilst also being able to establish the critical timelines that each project must work to, concurrently and coincidentally.

Dr Dan Tyson

Dan was recently appointed as chief executive officer (CEO) of Alice Springs-based Desert Knowledge Australia. From 2017 to 2019, Dan was CEO of Aboriginal community-controlled Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation based in Katherine. Sunrise provides comprehensive primary health services to 4,000 Aboriginal people in a large area immediately south of Arnhem Land.

Since moving to the NT in 2017, Dan has been a director of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the NT (AMSANT), director and vice-chair of Katherine Regional Aboriginal Health and Related Services, and currently, a member of the Central Region Executive of the Chamber of Commerce, NT.

A long-time resident of South Australia, Dan was co-founder of the Aboriginal Business Industry Chamber of South Australia (ABICSA). ABICSA works closely with Business SA to advance the development of Aboriginal businesses in SA. Dan is a retiring director of Supply Nation Certified construction management and architecture company, Parakeelya Group, located in Adelaide.

Dan holds a PhD in the field of medical anthropology and has worked extensively in the health sector, mining sector, Indigenous business, and Indigenous health sectors - spanning the three tiers of government, not-for-profit, and private sectors.

Dan’s more recent roles have included Research Fellow, Southgate Institute, Flinders University, and Senior Policy and Governance Advisor, Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation. In the formative stages of the Commonwealth’s Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP), Dan provided policy advice to the Sub-Committee Chairman, Indigenous Economic Development Sub-Committee, Indigenous Advisory Council, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Dan has also operated his own Supply Nation Certified advisory practice (and as a partner in another group) over recent years, with a particular focus on evaluations and reviews, planning, native title, and commissioned research. As a volunteer, Dan has been vice president of the Mental Illness Fellowship of SA, and co-founder of the Mental Health Coalition of SA. Dan’s detailed professional background can be accessed on the LinkedIn website.

Geoff Thomas

Geoff has a long history in management of start-up and early expansion investment funds. Funds he led have invested successfully in Defence, IT, agtech, biotechnology, manufacturing and distribution sectors. The funds’ exits include sales to listed billion-dollar companies on the New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong stock exchanges. He is a current Fellow, and former state council member, of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Geoff has a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a First Class Honours Degree in Electronics Engineering, and a Bachelor Degree in Information Technology. He is currently a private investor in, and director of, three early stage companies, and consults on mergers and acquisitions.

The IiR program is open to anyone who has an innovative idea. The Innovator in Residence can help you at any stage of your project, whether it is at a concept stage or ready to enter commercialisation.

The Innovator in Residence holds one-on-one sessions with innovators as part of the Business Innovation Program.

To find out more about the Business Innovation Program and to apply, go to the Northern Territory Government website.

Last updated: 09 November 2020

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