Former Microsoft Leader Appointed New Chair of the Canberra Innovation Network

The Board of the Canberra Innovation Network has welcomed the ACT Chief Minister’s nomination of Hala Batainah as the new Director of the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) and has elected her to be the Chair of the Canberra Innovation Network commencing on 1 July 2019.  The change in leadership at CBRIN has resulted from a successful four-year term coming to an end for the current Chair, Tony Henshaw.

Hala joins CBRIN with more than 20 years’ experience in the information and communications technology industry and has served in senior executive roles for companies including Microsoft, IBM and Select Computer Technology.  She is a successful cultural and business leader with strong business acumen, a proven track record for creating and executing market-making strategies, and working and collaborating with diverse teams and stakeholders across multi-national, national and local organisations.

Most recently, Hala was Federal Director at Microsoft Australia.  During her eight years with the company, she was entrusted to lead Microsoft’s engagement in Canberra, delivered on revenue growth and defined, optimised and delivered on the organisation’s strategy and business plan for the Federal, Defence and ACT Government.

Hala previously spent more than ten years with IBM in several roles, including as Software Federal Government Business Executive where she was responsible for the acceleration of revenue in software and professional services across the Federal, Defence, Health, Education, State and Local Governments market sectors.  Prior, she worked for Lotus Development in several professional services management roles during the company’s acquisition by IBM.

Andrew Barr, Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory, said, “Innovation is so fundamental for the future prosperity of Canberra. Thanks to strong leadership, the Canberra Innovation Network now connects our knowledge institutions with government, industry and entrepreneurs to accelerate innovation driven economic growth.  I am looking forward to see Hala Batainah build on Tony Henshaw’s work and grow the importance and impact of the network even further.”

CBRIN is supported by the ACT Government, six foundation members and in partnership with industry aims to connect, promote and accelerate the growth of the region’s innovation and entrepreneurial eco-system for economic and global impact.  Its six leading tertiary education and research institutions include: the Australian National University, Canberra Institute of Technology, CSIRO, Data61, University of Canberra and UNSW Canberra. The organisation coordinates, supports and delivers a range of programs and events for startups, entrepreneurs, researchers, innovators, creatives, youth and SMEs. Through collaboration the organisation is dedicated to building a healthier and better ecosystem to help strengthen Australia’s economy.

“Hala has an impressive portfolio and I am excited that her passion for driving a healthy innovation ecosystem will strengthen our vision for Canberra to be globally recognised as a clever, connected and creative city,” said Petr Adamek, Chief Executive of the Canberra Innovation Network.

“I am excited about the opportunity to participate further in the unique ecosystem that is Canberra by joining the CBRIN team, stakeholders and board as Director and for the tremendous honour of nomination as Chair,” said Hala Batainah.  “Coincidentally, July is Innovation month and there is no better time for Canberrans to tap into what innovation can bring to our daily lives.  From agtech to space, from renewables to new ways of work, rest and play, innovation is key to strengthening our city and creating stronger economic, cultural and societal impact.

“In a world struggling for differentiation and making sense of the opportunity available to us, innovation is key, and I see CBRIN playing an even stronger role in this vision in the coming years”

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank Mr Tony Henshaw for his leadership and stewardship as the inaugural Chair of CBRIN and thank him for leaving an amazing legacy for our wonderful city of Canberra with its strong desire to connect and collaborate to build a lasting and enduring impact for its citizens,” said Hala.

In addition to her new appointment at CBRIN, Hala is also Deputy Chair and Federal and ACT Committee Member of the Australian Information Industry Association and serves on several not-for-profit committees and organisations.

Related News: Thank you, Tony!

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