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.


Doug Adamson

Doug has had wide and varied experience in founding, growing, managing and selling several businesses in Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe and Southeast Asia across multiple industry sectors. Doug has also good experience as an investment professional, with seed and early stage VC investment funds, as well as several angel investments.

Now Doug loves filling his days working with innovative, fast growth companies as a business and commercialisation adviser and mentoring startups across multiple different incubator/accelerator programs.

As a general partner in a small venture capital program he evaluates and invests in early stage technology companies, makes angel investments personally, and is pursuing his own startups in single serve wine packaging and business optimisation.

He has qualifications in electronic engineering, finance, and venture capital, and is also a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr. Stephen Rogers

Steve commenced as Director of Research & Innovation at Charles Darwin University last year, and brings with him a wealth of research and high-level leadership experience. Steve has almost 30 years’ experience (15 years at the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer level) of leading and managing research, technology development and innovation in the public and private sectors, with CSIRO, AIMS, two Cooperative Research Centres, commercial consultancy and the Centre for Appropriate Technology Ltd.

An experienced company director, Steve has held non-executive director positions with a number of commercial and not-for-profit organisations. He recently led the establishment of a new company CfAT Satellite Enterprises Pty Ltd that partnered with Viasat Inc, a global satellite technology company, to establish a $6 million dollar equity finance-supported commercial satellite ground station in Alice Springs.

With a PhD in Microbiology, Steve has worked in agricultural research, environmental biogeochemistry, contaminated site remediation and ecotoxicity, and mining geomicrobiology. At Charles Darwin University, Steve leads the Office of Research and Innovation, manages the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance and is co-lead in the current Cooperative Research Centre for Water in the North bid to the Australian Government.

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. BIP participants will be put in touch with the relevant IiR as they progress through the program.

Last updated: 22 April 2021

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