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14 December 2021 Statement

Stela Solar, currently the Global Director of AI Solutions at Microsoft, will return home after seven years leading AI business model transformation in the US.

CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall said he was excited to bring an exceptionally talented Australian back home to lead our new National AI Centre.  

"The world is racing to find the next big breakthrough in AI. Here in Australia, we're focused on using AI to solve key national challenges that can really make a difference for all Australians," Dr Marshall said.

“I’m really excited to say that an exceptionally talented Australian, Stela Solar, will leave the US and come back home to lead our new National AI Centre.  

“Stela has the vision and industry knowledge to work with CSIRO to continue bridging the gap between industry and our world-leading AI specialists.” 

Professor Jon Whittle, Director of CSIRO’s Data61 explained that the role of the National AI Centre is to bring Australia’s AI expertise together and provide a coordinated approach.

“Australia has world-class expertise in AI, but to fully realise the benefits of this technology we need a strong, collaborative and focused AI ecosystem that provides Australian businesses with the knowledge and skills they need to grow," Prof Whittle said. 

“This centre will provide a once in a generation opportunity to focus our AI capability on solving Australia’s greatest challenges and leading the world in ethical AI."

Cheryl George, the Executive Manager of the National AI Centre said that Australia has deep and specialised skills in AI. 

“In fact, more and more many companies around the world are turning their attention to Australia, to help design and develop new technologies to implement in their global operations," Ms George said. 

“By connecting our AI ecosystem and collaborating with local and global organisations, we can unlock Australia's AI opportunity. Stela’s appointment will link up our National AI Centre with the wider AI ecosystem and help us establish Australia as a focal point for AI investment and adoption."

Ms Solar will commence the role in late January 2022 and will be based in Sydney.

The Centre will begin reaching across the Australian and global innovation ecosystem for foundation partners to come on board and join us in scaling this initiative.

CSIRO will kick off National AI Centre events in early 2022.

View the Hon Melissa Price MP's media release.  


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