Governance and management
An incorporated entity
AVRA is intended to be an incorporated entity (a company limited by guarantee) overseen by a majority-independent Board, and relevant committees or panels (refer to diagram below), and will adopt established partnership processes and agreements that have proven successful in previous cross-institutional collaborative models.
AVRA will encourage disruptive thinking and innovation at all levels – it will be multi-disciplinary and sufficiently agile to shift its activity to emerging outbreaks and international opportunities. Alliance participants will be empowered to pursue new vaccine opportunities as they arise, and to develop new solutions and methodologies and adapt existing systems as required.
The structure will ensure that funding is prudently managed to achieve value for money, to implement projects to achieve key objectives, to exploit intellectual property and to build an efficient and effective pipeline for vaccine development.
The Company may seek registration as a charity to be able to receive the full range of grant and philanthropic monies. It will fund the member and collaborating research organisations and other suppliers (e.g. commercial agreements with service providers in areas such as contract manufacturing) to carry out the work required to progress candidates through to human trials.
As appropriate, a company would be established to commercialise technology and progress vaccine candidates into clinical trials. The company would raise additional equity capital to fund its commercialisation activities.
AVRA Ltd Proposed Governance Structure
The Industry Advisory Committee will provide strategic advice, guidance and other input on the selection of vaccine programs, the development processes and prioritisations within the group, and commercial and development considerations relevant to research design, research translation, annual work plans and project reports and prioritisation of the focus on emerging pathogens.
The Scientific/R&D Advisory Committee will provide a forum for consultation among the members and other participants, and guidance and recommendations to the Board in relation to R&D and related activities. The primary responsibilities of the Scientific / R&D Committee include:
- Review of project status, milestones and outputs;
- Recommendations to the Board on program and project resourcing;
- Oversight of the research project commissioning process;
- Monitoring engagement of scientific and relevant commercial advisors;
- Monitoring relevant training and education activities; and
- Highlighting research and education progress, outcomes and processes to be communicated to stakeholders.
Chairpersons of the Board of Directors
Karen Borg – Interim Chair
Karen Borg was most recently CEO of Healthdirect Australia. She currently sits on the Board of Somnomed, a leader in mandibular devices for sleep apnoea sufferers. Previously, Karen was CEO of Jobs for NSW, and President, Asia Pacific and the Middle East for ResMed from 2012 until 2015. Prior to this, she was Global Vice President, Marketing for Advanced Sterilization Products, a Johnson & Johnson company based in Irvine, California.
She has worked in the fast moving consumer goods and healthcare industries in senior commercial roles in Australia, the United Kingdom, Russia, Taiwan and the USA for leading organisations including Nestle, Revlon, Goodman Fielder and Seagram, with a broad functional background in marketing, sales and business development. Karen’s experience is strongly grounded in international leadership, business transformation and deep experience of both mature and emerging markets.
Ms Borg was on the NSW Export Advisory Council and has consulted to Tribal Warrior, an indigenous Not for Profit based in Sydney. She was a finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year awards in 2017. Karen holds a B.A. from the University of Sydney and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Tony Peacock – Interim Deputy Chair
Dr Tony Peacock FTSE FAICD is the Chairman of antibiotic development company Wintermute Biomedical Australia Pty Ltd, as well as its parent Wintermute biomedical Inc. and spin-off disinfectant company Ten Carbon Chemistry Pty Ltd. Tony was Chief Executive of the Cooperative Research Centres Association for 10 years to the end of 2020.
He is a Fellow of both the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and the Australian Institute of Company Directors and was the 2014 Monash University Churchill Fellow studying university-business relationships. He is one of Australia’s most experienced managers of innovation, being CEO of Cooperative Research Centres from 2001-2010 and a statutory Rural R&D Corporation from 1996 to 2000. Tony is a passionate advocate for applied research and was the 2010 winner of the Australian Government Eureka Prize for Promoting the Public Understanding of Science.
He has a high media profile with regular spots on ABC radio speaking on innovation. A reproductive scientist by training, Tony has worked at the Universities of Sydney, Melbourne, and Saskatchewan. He has served on the Board of several start-up biotechnology companies. He is currently Chairman of the Australasian Pork Research Institute Ltd. and the bid for the Economic Participation of Indigenous Communities (EPIC) CRC.