Professor Kate Fairley-Grenot
The sustainability challenge requires investors to balance prosperity and security goals. Research systems will change as commercial drivers and the public good determine this balance. I want the best systems and the finest balance that we can achieve.
Science and technology investment is an option available to owners and leaders that seek to increase productivity and effect change. Research system integrity thus becomes mission-critical in a resource-constrained world. There is an urgent need to better understand how prosperity and security drivers affect research systems - especially systems that can strengthen primary production. Population and distribution pressures will bring particular challenge in the areas of food security and environment, and some research system elements that have been in decline will require turnaround to address this.
While the sustainability challenge can result in common priorities across research systems, sometimes it does not. Patterns of ownership and governance are constantly changing as new investments occur. Importantly, the potential for private investment will soon far outweigh that of the public sector and multi-national actors are increasingly capable of affecting national systems and achieving large-scale responses to global needs.
Current interests include:
- BERDs Fly South, a review of commercial drivers of selected research systems
- Foreign Diamonds, an investigation of when and how international investment enhances research system integrity
Kate is a 2013 Visiting Fellow at the CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship and a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has a PhD in biophysics and was a member of the Australian Research Committee Expert Advisory Group in 2012. Kate chaired Australia’s Rural Research and Development Council 2009-11. Other appointments include the Prime Minister’s Science Engineering & Innovation Council Carbon-Energy-Water Intersections Working Group 2009-11, the National Reference Group, Federation of Australian Scientific & Technological Societies (now STA) 2002-09 and the Industry Research & Development Board Biological Committee 1997-2001. Kate was the Independent Consultant to the Australian Wine Industry Task Force Review of National Organisational Structures 2007-08, a Director of Wirra Wirra Vineyards 2004-08 and a Director of the Grape & Wine Research & Development Corporation 1997-2002. She has operated privately for the past 20 years as a management consultant at Coopers & Lybrand Consultants 1992-97 and via BCP Investments 1997-2011, with increasing focus on the Australian innovation system.
Early-career contributions were in the research field of ion transport - across the cell membrane of Zea mays as a PhD student at the University of Sydney and with a focus on signal transduction as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University 1990- 92.
Publications from that period include:
- K. Fairley-Grenot and S. M. Assmann (1993) Comparison of K+-channel activation and deactivation in guard cells from a dicotyledon (Vicia faba L.) and a graminaceous monocotyledon (Zea mays). Planta 189:410-419
- K. Fairley-Grenot and S. M. Assmann (1992) Permeation of Ca2+ through K+ channels in the plasma membrane of Vicia faba guard cells. J. Membrane Biol. 128:103-113
- K. Fairley-Grenot and S. M. Assmann (1991) Evidence for G-protein regulation of inward K+ current in guard cells of Fava Bean. The Plant Cell: 1037 – 1044
- K. Fairley, D. Laver and N. Walker (1991) Whole-cell and single-channel currents across the plasmalemma of corn shoot suspension cells. J Membrane Biol. 121:11-22