litmus :: june 2007

Litmus is the monthly newsletter of ACID, the Australasian CRC for Interaction Design

  1. acid News
    • Farewell to founding CEO Jeff Jones
    • Next steps for ACID � pursue commercialisation, prepare new CRC bid
    • VSMM07 secures UNESCO patronage
    • Qld State Government recognises Diversionary Therapy
  2. Research and Project Updates
    • Creative Communities at AMP Innovation Festival
    • Suburban Communities update
  3. acid People
    • Richard Vella to head Newcastle Conservatorium of Music
    • Terry Cutler reappointed to CSIRO Board
    • Paul Holland takes on new commercialisation role
  4. DATE CLAIMERS: Mark Your Diary Now


Jeff Jones finds new adventures after ACID

:: Farewell and Good Travels to Founding CEO Jeff Jones

After four years at the helm, and earlier time spent in envisaging and establishing the organisation, ACID�s founding Chief Executive Officer Jeff Jones has left us to pursue new directions and opportunities in interaction design and user experiences.

Jeff has played a pivotal role at ACID from the earliest days of scribbling ideas on the back of a napkin, through the major task of securing partner organisations and developing the successful bid to establish the ACID as a CRC, to building Australia�s capability in research and commercialisation in interaction design.

As he leaves us, ACID is in a sound position as a research organisation, with both the Third Year Review panel and the Scientific Advisory Group commending ACID on its cutting-edge work at their visits last year. ACID is also one of the leading CRCs in terms of time-to-market, with two successful spinoffs having been executed by the end of the third year of the CRC. (Within the CRC programme, returns within four years is excellent and most return on investment comes after nine to 12 years.)

At a meeting with ACID team members on 8 June, his last day in the office, Jeff said he remains committed to ACID�s success, but that this part of his work is now complete.

�I�m very passionate about creating and starting great things,� he said. �Now it�s time for me to step back and allow a new leader to take ACID into the future.�

ACID Chair Terry Cutler said that Jeff is part of ACID�s DNA, and vice versa.

�ACID is the only CRC operating in this field so it�s extremely important for both Australia and the interaction design industry,� Terry said. �Since ACID started, a whole industry has grown up around us � proving that Jeff�s vision and energy were right on target.�

Jeff intends to remain a QUT Adjunct Professor and will continue working in interaction design and user experiences. In the short term, he will take up the Australian Government�s prestigious Endeavour Executive Award to visit R&D organisations in China and build links between Australia and China.


:: Next Steps for ACID � Pursue Commercialisation Opportunities, Forecast the Future for New CRC Bid

At the meeting of the ACID team on 8 June, ACID Chairman Terry Cutler said ACID faces three big opportunities right now: progressing the commercialisation prospects on several projects, strengthening our research program, and preparing the bid for a �new-from-existing� CRC to continue ACID�s work after 2010.

�The ACID Board is absolutely committed to growing ACID�s footprint and exploiting the research and commercialisation prospects that already exist,� he said.

Terry said that finding a new Director of Research will be a priority now that Jeff Jones has left, but that ACID�s collective knowledge is the basis of a sound future.

�We will be looking globally for the right person, preferably with strong global industry linkages,� he said. �In the meantime, Suzannah Conway is leading the organisation as General Manager and Acting Executive Director.�

Terry said the Board, the Research Leaders Group, Program Managers, and senior management have already started to consolidate a forward Business plan for ACID�s core research programmes and to shape a solid research-to-commercialisation pipeline for the final three years of ACID�s current funding. Work has also started on ACID�s bid for new CRC funding to pick up in 2010 when current funding is due to end.

�Preparing the new bid will be a big job involving many people on the ACID team, and it will be exciting: it�s a chance to think seriously about the future of our industry and to shape a new CRC that can take ACID�s expertise further and get out in front with research leadership around emerging industry trends," Terry said. "We're doing great work and we're the only CRC in our field, so it�s important that we all promote the importance of this sector for Australia. Design for effective interaction is at the heart of the whole Web 2.0 and social networking phenomenon�.

Terry said the whole ACID Board is committed to developing a strong bid for future funding. �ACID�s research has shown great commercial potential and we can demonstrate a significant return on investment for the Commonwealth Government and our partners. Our real strength resides in the members of the team � after all, the ACID research program is the ACID people.�

:: VSMM07 secures UNESCO patronage

Two years ago, ACID�s Scientific Advisory Group suggested ACID should run an international conference. As a result, we set about securing the right to host VSMM07, the 2007 conference of the Virtual Systems and Multimedia Society.

ACID organising committee member James Hills said VSMM07 has now secured the patronage and endorsement of UNESCO through its Culture Sector.

�UNESCO is endorsing VSMM07 in recognition of the common goal of the VSMM Society and UNESCO�s World Heritage Centre to foster the development of ICT in heritage protection,� James said.

�They�re particularly interested in the Virtual Heritage and Virtual Cultures theme of the conference. UNESCO�s Assistant Director-General for Culture Fran�oise Rivi�re said the application of digital media technology to the protection and enhancement of heritage deserves the widest public attention possible.�

James said other major themes to be explored at VSMM07 include Virtual Environments and Virtual Experiences, and Applied Technologies and Systems.

James encourages all ACID team members to promote VSMM07 throughout their own networks and start planning to attend. The VSMM07 conference will include workshops in a diverse range of areas including stereographics, multimedia and artworks, as well as a Digital Salon program of exhibitions and entertainment.

More information is available at the VSMM07 website.


:: Queensland State Government recognises Diversionary Therapy

The Queensland Department of State Development has launched a new Success Stories website, listing the diversionary therapy device originally developed by ACID as an example of a world first in science and technology emanating from the Sunshine State.

The story highlights the spinoff from ACID to Diversionary Therapy Technologies Pty Ltd and notes new Queensland Government funding for the company in 2007.

Visit and click on �success stories� at the bottom of the page.


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:: Creative Communities at AMP Innovation Festival

ACID Creative Communities projects were lucky to secure exhibition space at AMP�s Innovation and Thought Leadership Festival 2007 in Sydney on 29 June.

AMP believes innovation is social, interactive, collaborative and playful, and that it thrives when disciplines collide.

To bring about this collision of disciplines, IT@AMP hosted the 2007 Innovation and Thought Leadership Festival. The Festival created a space where all of AMP could come together to �play with a purpose�, so they could create new value for their business and their stakeholders.

ACID and Creativity and Cognition Studios put together a joint Festival exhibit demonstrating interactive tools, toys and phenomena that show how ACID research can support collaboration and creativity.

Demonstrations included Shigeki Amitani�s Scenario Generation for Supporting Creative Activities, Julien Phalip�s Enhancing Creative Communication in Film Scoring, and Ian Gwilt�s Augmented Reality toolkit for creative activities.

ACID�s Creative Communities Program Manager, Assoc Prof Andrew Brown, demonstrated the AV Jam system for collaborative music and video jamming.

Andrew said the Festival attracted a large number of AMP staff across different business areas, who engaged enthusiastically with the exhibits and got together to tell stories of �what might be� and ask �what if�.

�Everyone who visited our booths was blown away � both by the specific demos and by the opportunity the day gave them to play with new ideas and try new things,� he said. �It was great fun to see AMP�s people getting so excited about creativity and innovation.�


:: Suburban Communities update

Suburban Communities has wrapped up a busy June quarter:

  1. porting VirtualGenesis to HITLabNZ's VisionSpace immersive 3D environment;
  2. building MarketPlace as a technology evaluation prototype of a 3D virtual environment for home businesses in Wanneroo WA;
  3. designing an iWall for Kelvin Grove Urban Village; and
  4. developing two InfoPoint prototypes for the Fremantle Boat Harbour WA.

Fremantle Boat Harbour WA

The InfoPoints push location-specific content, such as audio and images, to nearby mobile phones via Bluetooth. The image shows the complete Boat Harbour walk which is proposed to include 12 networked InfoPoints, and a sample of the audio content (a scathing description of Fremantle by Captain D.B. Shaw in the 1800s) is available here. The InfoPoints will be trialled by the Fremantle City Council, local businesses and passersby during July.

For futher information contact Ian MacColl.


Calling all ACID Researchers: If you�d like to let others at ACID know when and where you�re publishing, just send the details to Litmus. But don�t forget the publication process requires all ACID publications to be approved � the guidelines are available from Education Program Manager Michael Docherty.

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:: Richard Vella to head Newcastle Conservatorium

ACID Researcher Richard Vella, Adjunct Professor with the School of Communication Design and Visual Arts, Dance, Music & Sound at QUT, is heading south to Newcastle to take up a new role as Chair and Professor of Music of the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music.

Richard said he�s looking forward to the new position. �It�s a fantastic opportunity to look at the future role of a conservatorium within the Australian tertiary environment,� he said.

Richard will be maintaining his link with ACID, and suggests we all stay tuned for the next developments in ACID Press.

He can be reached on

Congratulations Richard on your new role!

:: Terry Cutler reappointed to CSIRO Board

ACID Chair Dr Terry Cutler has been reappointed to the CSIRO Board.

In her media release of 2 July 2007, Minister for Education, Science and Training Julie Bishop said Terry has made significant contributions to the CSIRO Board since his appointment in 2002.

Terry�s reappointment to the CSIRO Board �will provide continuity and experienced support for [new CSIRO Chair] Dr John Stocker�, the Minister said.


:: Paul Holland takes on new commercialisation role

After several years of consulting to ACID, Paul Holland is officially joining us in an 80% appointment to build our commercialisation capacity.

Paul is currently working with the Research Leaders, the Program Managers, Sam Bucolo and Suzannah Conway to develop a pipeline that will take ACID research from the earliest stages of exploratory investigation within our partner universities, through qualification within ACID projects, to commercial outcomes.

He is located in the Kelvin Grove office and can be reached by phone on (07) 3337 7826 or by e-mail at

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4. DATE CLAIMERS: Mark Your Diary Now!

:: Fun Stuff

Now on @ Beta_space
The Musicians, by Julia Burns
Until 18 August, Cyberworlds Gallery, Ground Floor, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.
Demonstration, Artist�s Talk & Live Performance, 11.30�1.30, Saturday 7 July.
contact Deborah Turnbull for more information.


:: Calls for Papers

4th Annual Design Research Conference, Interdisciplinary Design Institute
Design + Politics
10�11 January 2008, Spokane Washington USA
Abstracts due: 12 September 2007 (one page by e-mail to
visit the Institute�s website for more info.

Materials Knowledge Transfer Network
Towards a SMARTer Life
9�10 June 2008, Liverpool UK.
Abstracts due: 30 September 2007
visit the conference website for more info.

Interaction Design in Pedagogical Practice
Digital Kompetanse/Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy
Workshop: 1�2 November 2007, Oslo NORWAY.
Position papers due: 1 October 2007 (2�4 pages)
submit papers in PDF format, in English, to [e-link please]
for more information visit the journal�s website.

:: Awards Programs and Fellowships

Queensland�Smithsonian Institution Fellowships
Spend up to six months undertaking research at the USA�s prestigious Smithsonian Institution.
Applications close: 27 July 2007
visit the Qld Premiers Department website for more info.


:: Conferences

DIMEA 2007: 2nd international conference on Digital Interactive Media and Entertainment and Arts
19�21 September 2007, Perth WA.
visit the DIMEA website for more info.

Qualitative Research as Interpretive Practice (QRIP) Conference 2007
Interpreting Professional Worlds - Qualitative Perspectives on Practice
20�21 September 2007, Albury NSW.
visit the Ripple website for more info.

VSMM07: 13th international conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia
Exchange and Experience in Space and Place
23�26 September 2007, Brisbane, QLD.
visit the VSMM07 website for more info.

Communications Policy & Research Forum 2007
24�25 September 2007, Sydney NSW.
visit the conference website for more info.

WikiSym 2007: International Symposium on Wikis
Wikis at work in the world: open, organic, participatory media for the 21st Century.
21�23 October 2007, Montreal Canada.
visit the WikiSym website for more info.

Blog World Expo
8�9 November 2007, Las Vegas USA.
Early registrations before 3 August 2007.
visit the expo website for more info.

Defining the Scientific Evolution of Technology Enhanced Learning: the Kaleidoscope 2007 Symposium
Impact, Excellence, Value, Synergy
26�27 November 2007, Berlin Germany.
visit the Kaleidoscope website for more info... []


:: Workshops, Seminars, Forums

IAP2: International Association for Public Participation Australasia Symposium
Future Edges: Pushing the Boundaries of Community Engagement
6�7 September 2007, Melbourne VIC.
Early-bird registrations until: 3 August 2007
visit the IAP2 website for more info.

Netgames 2007
19�20 September 2007, Melbourne VIC.
Early registrations: 13 July 2007
Registrations: 10 August 2007
visit the workshop website for more info.


:: Calendar Call

The ACID calendar function is temporarily unavailable. If you have an event, meeting or conference date to share with ACID colleagues, just click here to e-mail the info.

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