Jonathan Lacey, Principal, Irelya
Jonathan Lacey has been involved with creating impact from advanced research since the late 1980s, as a physical sciences researcher and inventor, product champion, investor and entrepreneur; at universities, research organisations, large corporations and start-ups; re-shaping mature businesses and launching new ones. He started his career as a researcher at Melbourne University as part of the Australian Photonics Cooperative Research Centre.
In 1998 he joined Hewlett-Packard Laboratories (now Agilent/Keysight/Avago/Broadcom) in Palo Alto, California, and became part of the start-up team that spun Agilent's first telecoms networking product — the 'bubble switch' — out of Labs at the height of the technology boom. During this time, Jonathan worked with Agilent Ventures as a strategic investor, and sat on the board of portfolio start-up companies. In 2002, he became a product manager in Agilent's 20-year-old optical fiber transceiver business, now part of Broadcom. In 2005 he joined Calient Networks, an optical communications equipment start-up, where he led product management and steered the company into a new market.
In March 2008 Jonathan returned to Australia to launch and lead Ofidium, an optical fiber transmission start-up based on Monash University technology. In September 2011, after Ofidium's investors re-focused the company from product development to IP licensing, Jonathan started Irelya Consulting, to use the hard lessons he learned from failures at Agilent and Ofidium to help Australian researchers make a difference in the world with their research.
In November 2011, Jonathan joined CSIRO, Australia's national science and technology agency, to drive commercialization of the NGARA wireless communications technologies, created by the CSIRO lab that invented Wi-Fi. Between 2017 and late 2019, he was one of the facilitators who delivered the CSIRO ON program, to give researchers the skills and support to build industry partnerships and create impact with their research. This remains his passion today.