Industry 4.0 – The Rise of Advanced Manufacturing

The National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) is the primary vehicle for the Australian Government to drive domestic manufacturing and compete with the US Inflation Reduction Act funding. Join us to hear from the CEO of the NRF on the fund's priority industries and mechanisms.

Industry 4.0
The Rise of Advanced Manufacturing 

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Ivan Power is CEO for the National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) which is the nation’s main vehicle designed to reboot domestic manufacturing. The Fund is prioritising the sectors including defence, space, renewables, agriculture, food, forestry, resources, construction and health to enable an economic transformation where sovereign manufacturing will support a circular net-zero industrial future. Manufacturing is a knowledge-intensive and value-adding capability that underpins 70 per cent of the world’s trade. Building on our strong domestic manufacturing sector is fundamental to South Australia’s continued participation in the global economy. We are responding to the rapidly shifting global dynamic where decarbonisation, geopolitical uncertainty, new technologies and disrupted supply chains will continue to present challenges and opportunities.   

Hear about the NRF’s intentions and strategy and the state’s response to the opportunities the fund presents. Panellists include Di Dixon, State Project Lead at Lot Fourteen, Adam Reid, Chief Executive Department for Industry, Innovation and Science and Aaron Hickmann, CEO and Founder at VAILO. Moderator will be Alex Demetriou Partner at KPMG. Join AmCham for this luncheon which will delve into the focus of the fund and importantly the mechanism to leverage industry to capitalise on it.

Date: Thursday 14 March 2024
11:45 AM - 2:00 PM
Location: SkyCity 


Members: Single: $199 / Table of 10: $1990
Non-Members: $249 / Table of 10: $2490


Ivan Power - CEO, National Reconstruction Fund 

As chief executive officer (CEO), Ivan is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the National Reconstruction Fund Corporation.  Ivan brings extensive experience in finance, investment and capital markets, including through a successful 20-year career at Macquarie Group in Sydney and London. He has worked with early-stage Australian companies since 2019 as a direct investor and adviser. He has also advised Australian Government agencies, including the Commonwealth Treasury, the Department of Social Services and Housing Australia. He has served as chair or director of various social enterprises in both London and Sydney.

Diane Dixon  - State Project Lead, Lot Fourteen State Innovation District Lead, Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Diane has worked in areas including major infrastructure project management, economic development, stakeholder engagement, strategy development, investment and trade, innovation and precinct delivery in both the UK and Australia over the past 25 years. She has also sat on a variety of innovation, education and government boards. Diane led the planning and delivery of Queensland’s 200ha Gold Coast Health & Knowledge Precinct (GCHKP) focused on driving infrastructure investment and identifying business, research and investment attraction opportunities on behalf of City of Gold Coast, Griffith University, Gold Coast Health and the Queensland Government. The GCHKP is the key piece of legacy infrastructure from the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Diane was involved in transforming the athlete’s village located within the precinct to a thriving residential and retail community within the state’s innovation ecosystem. Diane is the State Project Lead for Lot Fourteen in Adelaide, South Australia. Diane is responsible for managing the delivery, curation and operations of the 7ha innovation district. This involves management of the district’s physical delivery, development of governance and operating models, effectively engaging with stakeholders, curating the innovation ecosystem through tenancy selection and attraction alongside driving a range of collaboration and activation activities. She is also responsible for the delivery of key multimillion dollar pieces of infrastructure as part of the Adelaide City Deal, including the Entrepreneur and Innovation Centre, Innovation Hub, Tarrkarri – Centre for First Nations Cultures, The Circle - First Nations Entrepreneur Hub and the Digital Technologies Academy. She is also the State’s lead for innovation districts and economic zones to establish South Australia as a global leader in innovation and economic outcomes. She is leading the development of a new centralised state-wide framework to bring together all innovation assets and districts. The model will unlock even greater value from state and federal investment, ensuring South Australia is globally responsive and competitive.


Adam Reid - Chief Executive, Department for Industry, Innovation and Science 

Adam is the Chief Executive of the Department for Industry Innovation and Science in South Australia, responsible for supporting sustainable economic growth through research and innovation, technology development, industry and business growth, manufacturing capability and skilled and business migration.  Adam brings over 20 years of experience within the South Australian public sector in industry, science and innovation policy and program delivery.  Prior to becoming the Chief Executive, Adam was the Executive Director of the Innovation and Science division with the Department for Innovation and Skills, responsible for developing and supporting the state’s innovation system to drive economic growth.  Previously Adam held executive positions within the Department of State Development and the Department of Trade and Economic Development, where he led industry policy and strategy implementation, small business and investment management.  In his previous roles Adam led the development of South Australia’s manufacturing strategy, purchase and planning of the Tonsley Innovation District, investments in strategic research infrastructure and capabilities and the transition of the state’s automotive supply chain.  Adam holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Adelaide.

 Aaron Hickmann - CEO & Founder, VAILO  

Aaron Hickmann is the CEO and Founder of multiple companies within the technology, manufacturing, agriculture, and property sectors. Most notably, advanced manufacturing company VAILO. A serial entrepreneur, Aaron started his first business as a 15-year-old while still at high school. With a passion for innovation and a background in the lighting industry, in 2012, Aaron launched VAILO with a dream to return advanced manufacturing back to South Australia. Through years of planning, this was executed in 2022 with the launch of VAILO's ultra-high-performance LED sports light, the Zenith Gen-V. VAILO has since become a major player in sports lighting and digital displays and subsequently has completed several LED lighting and screen installs across Australia. Aaron has established multiple other businesses, one being Vircura, a plant-based technology company he founded in 2022 after realising a strong demand and need for alternative, sustainable materials for building and biofuels. Throughout his career, Aaron has forged relationships with 'best of breed' entrepreneurs and innovators globally, from the US to Germany and Japan, and plans to launch VAILO into the US. In recognition of his achievements, Aaron has garnered multiple accolades, including the South Australian Young Entrepreneur of the Year and InDaily's 40 Under 40 Entrepreneurial Award. Committed to giving back, he sponsors the South Australian Young Entrepreneur Scheme, having himself graduated from the program, with the aim of mentoring the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs. 

VAILO is an Australian advanced technology company specialising in manufacturing ultra-high-performance LED sports lighting and as a premier solutions provider of LED digital displays tailored to sporting venues and major outdoor events.   Established in 2012 by visionary CEO Aaron Hickmann, VAILO started as a lighting wholesaler, underpinned by a steadfast vision to propel high-tech manufacturing within Australia. In 2022, Aaron’s vision came to life, and the company transitioned from importer to manufacturer. In the same year, VAILO became a solutions provider of LED digital displays, expanding on the sports venue offering. Subsequently, VAILO has completed several LED lighting and digital display installs across Australia.

Alex Demetriou - Partner, KPMG Australia

Alex provides assistance to large organisations, executives, start-ups, entrepreneurs and investors on how to fund their innovation and growth plans. His passion is helping Australian companies succeed in global markets through innovation. Alex is the National Lead of KPMG’s Accelerating Business Growth service line.  Alex has over 19 years experience in leading charted accounting firms working in both Australia and Singapore. Alex holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Finance and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Taxation Institute of Australia. Alex has a consistent history of helping organisations build strategies, processes and capabilities that drive the creation, selection and development of growth opportunities.  AIex has a comprehensive understanding of the Government Grants landscape which he uses to help clients enhance their business. Alex has been involved in a number of KPMG teams advising on the strategic approach, planning, management, delivery and acquittal of large State and Commonwealth Grants.  With KPMG’s global network, Alex is able to leverage his networks to support the companies he works with along with their investment activities. In the past 5 years Alex has helped secure over $350 million in grant funding for his clients. Alex believes deeply in the importance of giving back and so also sits on a number of Not-For-Profit Boards providing tax, governance and funding assistance.