The partners in the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct extend their congratulations to Director of the Precinct, Professor Mario Pinto. Professor Pinto steps down as Director today, and will commence as Vice-President (Research and International) at the University of Manitoba in his native Canada in October.
Professor Pinto is an internationally renowned chemical biologist, academic, and the former President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, who served as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at Griffith University from early 2020. From July 2021, Mario was Director of the Precinct Office, leading an active team and working with Precinct partners to drive company, developer and partnership attraction.
During his time in the Precinct Office, Mario has had an extraordinary impact in working to accelerate the recruitment of high-technology companies to the Precinct, including ASX-listed blockchain software developer Tymlez; US-headquartered MedTech BiVACOR, which is developing a world-first rotary artificial heart; and Silicon Valley-based Precise Light Surgical. His model of providing a ‘soft landing pad’ to global companies has been instrumental in assembling an array of exciting partnerships, leveraging Precinct strategic capabilities. He also saw the development and approval of the Precinct Strategic Plan (2022-2027), which will be released shortly, expanded efforts to link student interns to Precinct companies, and has cemented the strong relationship with City of Gold Coast elected representatives.
Mario’s departure comes at a time when the Precinct has achieved many of its initial aims, a point emphasized in the Queensland Innovation Places Discussion paper, which identified the GCHKP as one of the state’s leading precincts. Subsequently, he was invited to be a member of the Innovation Places Stakeholder Reference Group, for the Queensland Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport, providing strategic input into the corresponding 10-year-strategy. Now with its imminent release, the Precinct partners can take the opportunity to address the ongoing role and shape of the Precinct Office, a process that will be launched over the next month. Mr Craig Rowsell will continue as Manager of the Precinct Office while this process is undertaken.
The Precinct Office and the Precinct Partners thank Professor Pinto for his contribution to the success of the Precinct, and wish him well in his new role at the University of Manitoba.