Introducing our Life Sciences Council

Introducing our Life Sciences Council

Header Image: Wei Sue, SBE by Springboard Enterprises Life Sciences Alumna, 2019.

SBE Australia is proud to have brought together a leading Life Sciences Council for their SBE by Springboard Enterprises Life Science program. 

The Life Science Council is made up of a well connected, highly respected group of Life Science experts across the industries of biotech, pharma, medical devices and health tech. These experts invest their expertise and wisdom in to SBE and the participants and alumnae of the SBE by Springboard Enterprises Life Science program. Participants and alumnae also receive access to the Springboard Life Sciences council, which you can learn more about here

The Council members advise and support participants and alumnae to help them achieve high-growth and ultimately successful global life science companies. 

The SBE Life Science Council consists of the following members. 


Bronwyn is a versatile and multi-disciplinary C-suite executive with over 18 years’ experience in the life sciences and technology sectors focused on commercialisation, corporate development, investment and advocacy.

As a senior member of one of Australia’s leading venture capital firms Bronwyn managed major medical technology equity transactions comprising ~$A65m in pre-IPO and IPO capital and associated capital raisings on AIM and ASX and has been a part of the Investment team on a further $31.5m of venture capital investment. She was also a member of the team responsible for negotiating a first-in-class global supply and development agreement with a multinational pharmaceutical company for a digital technology to be supplied alongside a blockbuster respiratory medication.

In 2017 Bronwyn founded ANDHealth, a novel, mid stage accelerator program specifically for digital and connected health companies. ANDHealth is now an internationally competitive accelerator and commercialisation support organisation, which employs 7 highly specialised staff, turns over in excess of $1M per annum, delivers programs nationwide and comprises members such as Novartis, Planet Innovation, MCRI and RMIT University. Companies which have engaged in the flagship accelerator program developed by Bronwyn and delivered by the ANDHealth team have raised in excess of $28.7M in capital, created >165 jobs and have served >70,000 patients, since 2017.


Kathy is the Senior Director of New Ventures, Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) for Johnson & Johnson Innovation, California and is responsible for implementing the Johnson & Johnson external partnerships and growth strategy across ANZ. As the technology scout for the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer health businesses, Kathy is passionate about encouraging and building global collaborations to deliver new and disruptive healthcare solutions for people everywhere.

Kathy has a clinical, academic and legal background. She started her commercial career as the VP of Global Business Development for an Australian medical device company.

Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Kathy was the head of Innovation and Investment for Janssen Australia and NZ, held business development roles at Sanofi to drive in-licensing, out-licensing and acquisition activities for the ANZ and Asia Pacific businesses across the pharmaceutical and consumer health sectors.  Kathy is a recognised leader and advocate for diversity and inclusion in the life sciences sector. In 2017 Kathy co-founded PAIG (Pharmaceutical Australia Inclusion Group), a Medicines Australia Special Interest Group dedicated to the development and promotion of diverse and inclusive work practices across the Australian pharmaceutical industries. In 2018 Kathy was recognised for her efforts in global business development, innovation, partnerships as well as her commitment to diversity and inclusion with the Women in Leadership Award by the BioMelbourne Network. Kathy has a clinical, commercial and legal background with more than 25 years cross-sector experience including in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, academia and hospital industries. She is based in Sydney Australia.  


Clare Blain, CEO at Life Sciences Queensland

Clare Blain has worked with Life Sciences Queensland (LSQ) since its inception in 2011 and now represents the organisation’s members in her role as Chief Executive Officer. 

Previously Chief Operating Officer and Operations Manager at LSQ, Clare is passionate about highlighting the integral role life science innovation plays in Queensland’s diverse economy. 

Prior to joining LSQ, Clare was Marketing Manager at Queensland Clinical Trials Network where she played a key role in positioning the organisation as the primary point of contact for preclinical and clinical research in Australia. As a result, she successfully identified and connected a range of sponsors with members, including research institutions, hospitals, clinical research organisations and other life science service providers.  

Clare also spent three years working with Master Builders Queensland where she gained valuable insights into membership bodies and the construction industry. 

Through her work at LSQ, Clare hopes to raise the profile of the life sciences sector on the world stage to help bring long-term economic, social and environmental benefits to Queenslanders.      

Dr Amanda Caples, Lead Scientist at Victorian Government

Dr Amanda Caples BSc Hons PhD GAICD is Victoria’s Lead Scientist, a ‘catalyst’ responsible for working across the Victorian Government to identify opportunities for economic outcomes by building relationships between business, the research sector and government. Amanda brings to the role broad experience in technology commercialisation, public policy development and governance of public and private entities. 

Amanda joined the Victorian public service in 2002 as the inaugural Director of Biotechnology and subsequently was appointed as the Executive Director Science and Technology and Deputy Secretary Sector Development and Programs to drive the state's science agenda. In these roles, Amanda has led the development of industry sector strategy plans, delivered research-led health initiatives, regulatory and legislative scientific reforms and established international business development and research alliances.


Christine Emmanuel, Executive Manager, Commercial at CSIRO

Christine is an experienced patent and trademark attorney, a business development professional having more than 30 years’ experience locally and internationally and is on the Boards of two ASX listed life-sciences companies. She founded and led the current management team of CSIRO’s IP portfolio and managed the growth of the CSIRO equity portfolio for the last 5 years. Prior to this role, Christine was in-house IP Counsel for Unilever in the UK and practised as a patent and trademark attorney for Wilson Gunn (UK), Davies Collison Cave and Griffith Hack in Melbourne.

Christine’s broad experience, spanning multiple roles and organisations, coupled with extensive IP advisory, structuring, applying for and protecting IP in a commercial setting, will add a unique skillset and depth to the Council.

Christine has a Bachelor of Science and major in Economics (Hons: Chem) from Monash University, Certificate in Intellectual Property Law from Queen Mary College, University of London, Masters of Enterprise from Melbourne University and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys UK. Christine has also been on the Board of the Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia since 2010.


Jeff Bergmann, Owner and IP commercialisation law specialist at Solubility Pty Ltd 

During his 25-year career Jeff has covered all aspects of IP commercialisation for clients from multinational and large corporations through to investee companies of venture capital clients, and individual clients in the academic and not-for-profit sectors.

In 2007 he established Solubility to specialise in assisting creative clients in IP commercialisation law. He is in high demand to deliver presentations on IP and licensing to various clients, organisations and institutions, and has been the invited guest lecturer on Patents and Know How Licensing in the post graduate subject of Licensing Law at the University of Melbourne since 2008.

Jeff also has completed a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Pharmacology.
He has been a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP) since 2011. Jeff was Recognised in the 2019 Doyles Guide listing of Leading Non-Contentious Intellectual Property Lawyers. He was also listed in IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, listed in each edition of the superseded IAM Licensing 250: The World’s Leading Patent & Technology Licensing Lawyers (2010 and 2011/2012), listed in IAM 300: The World’s Leading IP Strategists in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Jeff is rated as an IP Star by Managing Intellectual Property magazine for Patents, Trade Marks and Copyright since 2014. He's also a member of volunteer panel of lawyers for the Arts Law Centre Australia, the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV),  Licensing Executives Society ANZ (LESANZ) since 2001, and former trustee and secretary. He pioneered the inaugural LESANZ Licensing Year in Review seminar in 2012 and continues to present it each year.


Kerry is an experienced Director, CEO, Investor and Advisor.

Her interests lie in working with early-stage technology assets led by people who are seeking targeted advice to bring novel products to market in healthcare. As an industry, there is no better time to assist well-researched, well-articulated concepts to enter the development pathway and to deliver globally. With more than 35 years of experience in the commercialisation of early-stage technologies, Kerry looks for selected opportunities to work with teams to fill the gaps in the value proposition and navigate across the inevitable road bumps of product development.

Kerry's experiences include serving both public and private companies in senior executive roles, translating technology from concept to global sales in both the energy and biotech sectors. As part of the required mix, she also enjoys raising capital, designing optimum deal structures, negotiating and creating strong teams.


Dr Emma Ball is Director Strategy and Business Development and Head of Search & Evaluation at CSL Limited. Her role involves scoping and assessing licensing and M&A opportunities globally as well as negotiating and executing those deals. In addition, Emma holds a number of advisory positions such as AusBiotech Victorian Branch Committee Member, NHMRC Development Grants Working Committee (Commercialisation Peer Reviewer), Monash University Bachelor of Biomedical Science Course Advisory Board Member and Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) Mentor.

Previous roles within CSL include Director Therapeutic Area Strategy, Director Commercial Development, R&D Program Director, Senior Manager Licensing & Partnerships and Senior Project Manager R&D. Prior to joining CSL, Emma worked in project management in small biotech. She trained initially as a molecular biologist and gained her PhD in 1999 from the University of Melbourne, followed by Postdoctoral studies in oncology and endocrinology at Monash University, Melbourne. Emma also holds an MBA from RMIT University, Melbourne, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

Emma's specialties lie in life sciences commercialisation, business development & licensing, business strategy, drug development, R&D program management and governance.


Rob is a specialist in the structuring and negotiation of patent licences and contracts for the commercialization of technologies. He also advises founders of, and investors in, technology ventures. He is one of the few Australian lawyers to have met Certified Licensing Professional requirements.

Rob is recognised as an 'IP Star' by Managing Intellectual Property, and since 2010 he's been ranked as Australia's highest recommended IP licensing lawyer. Rob combines intense legal and client focus with a completely collegial and easy-to-interact-with demeanour.

Pre-eminent Robert B McInnes is distinguished by his precise specialism in patent licensing and his negotiation of top-of the- line deals.

Having gained experience both as a lawyer in private practice and as an in-house manager of IP and technology transfer, Rob's preferred role is as a close adviser to management in research organizations and technology-based ventures. He likes to help managers make business decisions and negotiate assertively to achieve favourable outcomes; He's not just an arm's length technical adviser.



Dr Laura Issa is responsible for implementing the business development and external partnerships strategy across Australia and New Zealand for AbbVie Inc., a global specialty biopharmaceutical company.  In this capacity, Laura engages with companies, entrepreneurs, scientists and investors across the biopharma and medtech innovation ecosystem to bridge connectivity with AbbVie scientists.   Laura’s ultimate mission is to build collaborative research partnerships, licensing opportunities and venture investments that align with AbbVie’s areas of interest, covering immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, women’s health and virology.

Laura is also passionate about enabling healthcare innovation and achieving equitable access to medicines with quality use of medicines.  Laura is proud to partner with stakeholders to enable the innovation process, in ways that prime the pipeline and ensure we create lasting impact for the Australian economy and for patients.   She achieves this through active participation on various industry advisory committees and skills-building initiatives, including the Bridge Program and SBE Australia.

Laura bridges science and business, having had over 20 years’ experience across the academic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors, at all stages of the product life cycle.  Laura is especially skilled at building value-based partnerships that advance medical research and innovation.

Prior to joining AbbVie, Laura held Senior Business Development and Licensing roles at Aspen Pharmacare and Merck Sharp Dohme, where she led projects across all therapeutics areas and executed partnership deals with local, regional and global companies.  Prior to transitioning to the pharmaceutical industry, Laura held positions in technology transfer and licensing, clinical research and academic research.

Laura achieved a PhD from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (UNSW, 1999) and Master of Business Administration-Technology (UNSW; 2005).  Laura is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Peter Devine is CEO of Uniseed and has had extensive experience at board and executive management levels in the commercialisation of early stage technologies, having held senior R&D, business development and commercialisation positions in a number of Australian companies and Australian universities. Has served on the Board of numerous start-ups which have collectively raised over AU$300 million, with a number of these being successfully sold to large multi-nationals in deals collectively worth over AU$1.75 Billion. Recent successes include Fibrotech Therapeutics'​ sale to Shire in 2014; the Spinifex Pharmaceuticals sale to Novartis in 2015; and the Hatchtech sale to Dr Reddy's in 2015.

Before joining Uniseed, Peter was Vice President of Business Development at Progen Industries Ltd. He was Research, Development and Commercialisation Manager at Brisbane-based PanBio Pty Ltd and also worked in business development at UniQuest Pty Ltd. Prior to this, Peter had a distinguished career in academic research, being the recipient of a number of competitive grants, which resulted in numerous patents, publications and scientific presentations at conferences.

Peter holds a PhD from the University of Queensland and received the Dean's Prize and the AGSM Alumni Scholarship for his MBA Studies at the Australian Graduate School of Management. He received a Centenary Medal in 2001 for outstanding contribution to the business of biotechnology, and in 2018 was named in the GUV Powerlist as one of the top 5 people worldwide changing the face of university venturing. He is a Graduate and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Markets) and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance from Kaplan Professional. In 2011 & 2012, Peter was named on the Kaplan High Achievers Honour Roll.

Cathy has extensive experience in both academic research and industry drug development. Following a PhD at the Florey and postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford and WEHI, Cathy moved to the biotech industry, at Amrad Corporation, Zenyth Ltd, CSL Limited, Catalyst Therapeutics Pty Ltd, and the Cancer Therapeutics CRC (CTx).  In 2017 she joined BioCurate Pty Ltd, where she manages the portfolio of projects internalized from the Universities, working closely with project leaders, inventors and CROs to ensure rigorous and timely outcomes. 

Cathy is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a specialist in project management, communications, education, stakeholder management and strategic planning, and is passionate about fostering the translation of research into real world impact on patients.

Dr Samantha South PhD, MBA, GAICD, is a Life Sciences Senior Commercialisation Officer in the Research Development & Innovation office at UWA with greater than 12 years’ experience in the technology transfer/biotech sector, at UQ, QUT and UWA. Prior to tech transfer, she has an extensive background in medical research -Weill Medical College at Cornell University (NY), The University of Queensland and The Garvan Institute. She was also the Preclinical Manager at TetraQ, a preclinical contract organisation with extensive experience of commercial preclinical drug development strategies, regulatory milestones, and performance criteria (commercial go/no-go) in CNS therapeutic areas of pain, Alzheimers, MS and Parkinsons. She was the UWA Director on UWA spin-out companies MiReven, Eridan and OncoRes Medical. She is currently a UWA Director on UWA spin-out companies Argenica Therapeutics and Rage Biotech. She is WA Ausbiotech Committee Chair and part of the AusMedtech National Advisory Group.
Jan Tennent is an innovative, strategic and results orientated NED and C-suite executive with international experience across a range of sectors. She is a networked business leader, trusted advocate and respected research scientist with a proven record of accomplishment and impact in highly-matrixed organisations.

Jan's specialties include Corporate Governance, Strategy, Financial Management, Risk Management, Health & Medical Research, Animal Health & Agribiotech, Strategic Partnerships, Stakeholder Relations & Advocacy, Licensing & Commercialisation, Cross-Functional Team Leadership and Higher Education.
Gavin is a Chair, Board Member and CEO. ANDHealth is a national digital health initiative established by a consortium of commercial and government partners to facilitate and support the development & commercialisation of clinically validated digital health technologies across Australia. They are federally and commercially funded and will be focusing on working with mid-stage digital health projects on proof of concept and pivotal clinical validation, investment readiness and market entry - with a specific focus on regulated digital health technologies which have a clear impact on clinical outcomes for patients.
The ANZLF brings business and government together to help Australia and New Zealand prosper. The ANZLF is a group of senior business leaders from both sides of the Tasman and advocates for policy changes to enable improved business and trade between the two nations. The ANZLF is the only high-level and broad-based bilateral Australia-New Zealand business forum that engages closely with governments on both sides of the Tasman. The centrepiece of the ANZLF is an annual forum for “big picture” thinking and dialogue. This is an invitation-only event for senior leaders from both countries. This is followed up by an annual work program of business-led activities, and advocacy with the governments, to realise opportunities to deepen the relationship.
Gavin is also a member - STEM and Health Group with the Male Champions of Change, as well as a fellow at the Australian Marketing Institute and a member of Professionals Australia. Prior to his current roles, Gavin was involved with Johnson and Johnson Medical Devices Companies for over 22 years.
With over 35 years in the pharmaceutical and bioscience industries, Lusia Guthrie is an experienced executive and medtech entrepreneur with strong leadership skills and international industry networks. She commenced her career as a Medical Laboratory Scientist before joining the Manufacturing Division of Faulding Pharmaceuticals, where she attained the position of Director of Operations. In 2004 Lusia co-founded medical technology innovation company, LBT Innovations Limited (ASX: LBT) where she served as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director until 2016.
Lusia has a passion and proven track record in bringing innovative products to global markets, embracing the entire process from company formation and capital raising, through concept and product development to launch.
She has particular experience and ongoing interest in the development and commercialisation of new healthcare products that embrace automation, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Warren is the Founder and Executive Chairman of MedTech International, CEOof BioAnalytics Holdings, Non-Executive Director of EndoGene, Chairman ofSchoolAid, Chairman of ('Australia's most diverse Board') The Macquarie University Global MBA Advisory Board, Adjunct Fellow - Macquarie University, Department of Management in the Faculty of Business and Economics andAmbassador for The Vinnies CEO Sleepout and Ambassador for Diabetes AustraliaNSW and ACT.
With more than 30 years of proven success in the Medical Devices sector, Warrenspecialises in leading organisations with innovative and disruptive medical deviceand Digital Health technologies with their global strategic execution,commercialisation and Board fulfilment. He also contributes extensively in the ForPurpose / NFP sector, providing strategic advice, board and ambassadorship, andhands on volunteering for multiple organisations.
In 2001, Warren established the Australian subsidiary of Given Imaging Ltd, acompany who revolutionised and pioneered PillCam® technology, an ingestiblepill-sized camera to visualise the GI tract in a non-invasive, cost effective, safe andpatient friendly manner. In 2004, he successfully established Capsule Endoscopyon the Medicare Benefits Scheme.
Whilst serving on the global management team from 2000, the company grew from a start-up to a multinational, publicly traded company with revenues exceeding $250 million in 2013. In February 2014, Covidien acquired GivenImaging for approx. $1 Billion.
Warren’s significant contributions have been recognised; he was a finalist in the2016 Australian Institute of Managements 'Excellence in Leadership Awards’, andin 2018 was acknowledged by Australia's Peak Life Science Industry OrganisationAusBiotech for his ‘Outstanding Contribution to AusMedtech’.
If you want to learn more about the SBE by Springboard Enterprises Life Sciences Program, you can do so here. 
If you want to learn about how you can get involved with the SBE Life Sciences Council, please get in touch via email at