Arun Sharma

Member of the Board, Adani Abbot Point Terminal Pty Ltd

Member of the Board Adani Abbot Point Terminal Pty Ltd - Australia Arun Sharma has been the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation) of Queensland University of Technology (QUT) since 2004. He has overseen one of the fastest growth in research trajectory of any university in Australia with more than three-fold increase in annual research income. He has led the development of Australian research capacity in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). He was co-founder of National ICT Australia Limited (NICTA) – now Data61 – an institute awarded AUD 130 million from the Australian Government and AUD 20 million from the New South Wales Government for its five years. He served as the inaugural director of NICTA’s largest research laboratory and was leader of its symbolic machine learning program. Prior to establishing NICTA, he was Head of the School of Computer Science and Engineering at The University of New South Wales (UNSW) where he co-founded the Cooperative Research Centre for Smart Internet Technology – a consortium of industry and university partners working at the intersection of network technologies and AI. The centre attracted AUD 27 million from the Federal Government. At QUT, he has facilitated the development of internationally leading research programs in robotics, UAVs, big data analytics, material science and additive manufacturing. He has contributed significantly to development of research and innovation policy in Australia and Queensland. He was a member of the inaugural Independent Advisory Council of the Australian Research Council and a member of the advisory board of the Manufacturing Centre of the Federal Government’s Enterprise Connect Program. He has twice chaired the Universities Australia Deputy Vice-Chancellors (Research) Committee and has been a key figure in the advocacy leading to better incentives for university business collaboration. He is currently a member of the Advance Queensland Expert Panel and has previously served on advisory bodies such as the Queensland Premier’s Smart State Council and the Premier’s Business Roundtable. He strongly believes in the critical role of universities in growing an entrepreneurial ecosystem in their regions. In 1999, as Head of Computer Science and Engineering at UNSW, he partnered with the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) to adopt the then MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition for UNSW. At QUT, he has provided governance oversight of various entrepreneurship initiatives. He has worked with the Queensland Government to attract the hugely successful MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp to Brisbane. He is currently the Champion of Team Queensland – a consortium of senior representatives from the Queensland Government, Rio Tinto, Blue Sky Ventures, Red Eye and the University of Queensland – that is participating in the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP). In December 2015, he was included in the Knowledge Nation 100 list published by The Australian newspaper in consultation with the Office of the Australian Chief Scientist as “one of the country’s most effective advocates for the research/wealth-creation nexus”. He was awarded the 2010 Queensland Premier’s Special Award for contribution to building the export profile of the state. He has also contributed to growing strong business links between Australia and India. He was President of the Queensland Chapter of the Australia India Business Council (AIBC) during 2005-11, and served as the National Chair in 2011 to undertake governance reform of the organisation. He also chaired of the Queensland India Council – an advisory committee of the Queensland Government – during 2011-14. In 2011, when India’s Adani Group acquired the Abbot Point Port, he joined the board. He received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science – Pilani (1985), PhD in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo (1990) and undertook post-doctoral training in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT (1990/91). He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (2008).