Innovator in Residence program

The Innovator in Residence (IiR) program aims to provide proactive mentoring and support to small-medium enterprises in the Northern Territory (NT).

The program aims to increase the survival rate of small businesses, help commercialise research and development, create and retain jobs in the NT, improve the local economy, and increase opportunities for partnerships between the public and private sector.

For entrepreneurs, the IiR program is a business diagnostic that brings a unique opportunity to work with an expert, accelerating the business performance and the commercialisation potential.

The IiR program can support your business by introducing you to:

  • investors with access to finance
  • knowledge partners and universities across Australia and internationally
  • intellectual property (IP) experts and key IP lawyers
  • Australian and international business networks.

The IiR program can also assist with Business Innovation Support Initiatives funding applications, for more information go to the Northern Territory Government website.


Headshot of Dean Alle

Dean Alle is a leader in the innovation space, he adds value to startups around Australia as an investor, director, advisory board chair and executive. Dean is serial startup creator and co-founder, Entrepreneur in Residence for several innovation centres / hubs and universities, facilitator for the AU National Innovation (ON) Program, judge for investment pitch competitions, mentor for many startup weekends / hacks and a keynote speaker at events.

Dean has created and delivered startup incubator / accelerator programs, including intensive founder and team mentoring. Dean enjoys working with entrepreneurs to achieve commercially relevant outcomes. Dean has a PhD in Atomic and Molecular Physics from the Australian National University Canberra.

Rebecca Murray

Dr Rebecca Murray is currently working as the director of the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance at Charles Darwin University to drive industry engagement, vocational education and training partnerships, and research on a world-first 3D metal printing technology from SPEE3D.

Rebecca's background is in both Biomedical Engineering (Dr Ing, MSc) and Materials Engineering (BSc) with substantial experience in international collaborations between industry and academia.

Portrait shot of Emma Nesbitt

Emma Nesbitt is a consultant across regional Australia with a background in business intelligence and business process management. A strong influencer of change and modernisation, hands on, experienced across multiple states and territories within Australian Territories and its neighbours, working to establish national collaborations.

Emma has worked with shires, industry bodies and public offices to develop project framework prioritisation tools to be used to assess project funding requirements and action bodies, as well as the development of frameworks allowing private investment into public assets and projects.

Emma works with Angel investment networks, as well as Series A to C investors across a range of industries including agriculture, renewable energy, technology, freight and logistics, infrastructure and social enterprise, analysing the identification of involvements, pre-project analysis and risk identification, pre-project management and documentation, assessments of probability and impact, identification of project drivers, highlighting project constraints, identifying functional requirements, non-functional matters and project issues, ongoing risk management, political and transactional risk management.

She is able to identify catalyst projects which fit alongside other regional priorities whilst also being able to establish the critical timelines that each project must work to, concurrently and coincidentally.

The IiR program is open to anyone who has an innovative idea. The Innovator in Residence can help you at any stage of your project, whether it is at a concept stage or ready to enter commercialisation.

The Innovator in Residence holds one-on-one sessions. For further information or to book an appointment for the next round of sessions contact:

Dean Alle

Wendy Pech
Program Director
Darwin Innovation Hub 
Phone: 08 8943 0600

Rebecca Murray

Innovation NT
Department of Trade Business and Innovation

“Thanks so much for another quality introduction. The range of personnel that you have been introducing us to demonstrates how well you have interpreted our requirements and taken the time to ensure that we have plenty of options moving forward with the next stage of our business. It’s always a pleasure catching up with you and I hope that we are able to continue to utilise your support as we continue to grow our business.”
Dave Thomson, Director, Universal Site Monitoring

“I recently met with and had continued correspondence with Helen Ujvary that was facilitated by the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, Business and Innovation NT. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the department for making this possible as Helen's knowledge and resources are invaluable to a start-up company like ours. She has already connected us with various people who are vital to the success of our project in the next stage. Helen has a professionalism you don't come across very often and I am grateful to the department for allowing people like Helen to be available for consultation in Darwin. The department has already helped our company's success in many ways and facilitating meetings with professionals like Helen Ujvary further increases our ability to succeed as a Darwin start-up company.” 
- Joshua Muirhead, Founder, XlockTech

“Thanks again for the length of time that you spent with us on Thursday night. It was quite an in depth discussion. Once again thank you for assisting us on this journey and we look forward to maintaining the relationship into the future. When final approval is given I will forward you the finished document for further discussion and ideas.”
- Paul Bailey, Enterprise, Development and Foundation, St Phillips College

“Just wanted to quickly thank you for all your work with relation to the help you have provided us. Being a start up its often difficult to know how to approach situations. Your expertise and connections have definitely helped us in making better decisions and meeting the right people.”
- Anthony Pizanias, Co-Founder, Mobi

“I really have to thank you for all the extra effort phone calls, emails and texts you have put in getting me over the line with getting included in the Australian Military Sales office catalogue. Like how to go about talking to the manager of a large Australian Defence Prime you know in Adelaide for their supporting of the re-deployable pit system. Now the linking up with your contacts in the USA and Canada for my upcoming trip. This is an area I really struggle with, how to approach contacts for meetings and interviews etc. I think it is a common trait of we inventive minds, not great communicators. So your great positive outlook and enthusiasm really gets me motivated and confident. Thank you for your help with my presentation.”
- Hew McDonald, Operations Manager, Evolving Workshop Technologies

"I have met with Helen Ujvary the Innovator in Residence twice to discuss Aerotech's projects, Helen was most interested and supportive of our work and was well equipped to assist us in the various areas that were weak in. The Department of Trade, Business and Innovation certainly chose a very professional and well connected person to mentor companies such as mine, through the many faceted areas that affected our new development getting off the ground and into a final testing program. It has been a long road to get this far. If our research shows promise in the market place then I will be contacting the Department and Helen once again to lend us assistance in getting our innovation out to the world. I commend the use of the Innovator in Residence program to any inventors and innovators wanting to take their visions further, it doesn't matter if it fails just that we tried."
- Roger Leach, CEO Aerotech Australia

Last updated: 11 October 2019


Was this page useful?

Describe your experience

More feedback options

To provide comments or suggestions about the NT.GOV.AU website, complete our feedback form.

For all other feedback or enquiries, you must contact the relevant government agency.