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Dr Simon Poole, Mr Andrew Bartos, Dr Glenn Baxter and Dr Steven Frisken received the Prime Minister's Prize for Innovation in 2018 for creating and commercialising technologies that underpin the global internet.

Read professional achievements and citations [1.2MB PDF] [230KB DOCX]
 

Transcript

[Music plays and text appears below the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation logo: Dr Simon Poole AO, Steven Frisken, Andrew Bartos & Glen Baxter, Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation]

[Image changes to show Dr Simon Poole and colleagues looking at scientific components]

Dr Simon Poole

I’m Simon Poole; I’m part of the team that developed a technology that improves the capacity and reliability of the Internet.

[Image changes to show Dr Simon Poole, seated and talking to the camera]

[Image changes to show Steve Frisken and a colleague standing together and flicking through a folder full of papers]

Steven Frisken

My name is Steve Frisken,

[Image changes to show Steve Frisken, seated and talking to the camera]

I was the person that brought some of the concepts into the team about how the optics could be configured.

[Image changes to show Andrew Bartos walking and talking with colleagues]

Andrew Bartos

My name’s Andrew Bartos, I’m an electrical engineer,

[Image changes to show Andrew Bartos, seated and talking to the camera]

and my main contribution was on the electrical and electronics side of the technology.

[Image changes to show Glen Baxter standing next to a screen pointing out different things to colleagues who are seated at a table in front of him]

[Image changes to show Glen Baxter, seated and talking to the camera]

Glen Baxter

My name is Glen Baxter and my role was to make the products work.

[Image changes back to show Dr Simon Poole, seated and talking to the camera]

Dr Simon Poole

We got together in 2001. The problem was that optical fibers we used just for connecting one point to another point,

[Image changes to show Andrew and Glen working with and electronic microscope]

there was no ability to switch the signals around in the network. There are a large number of companies working on solving this problem,

[Image changes back to show Dr Simon Poole, seated and talking to the camera] billions of dollars were being spent.

Glen Baxter

We just looked for a different, a gap that no one else had thought about. We were contrarian in a way.

[Image changes back to show Dr Simon Poole, seated and talking to the camera]

Dr Simon Poole

The initial inspiration came from the realisation that Steve had,

[Image changes to show Steve and Glen working with a magnifying glass in a laboratory type setting]

that we could take some technology that had been developed for projectors.

[Image changes back to show Steven Frisken, seated and talking to the camera]

Steven Frisken

This technology was great for projecting images up onto a screen,

[Image changes to show Glen viewing a computer chip through a microscope]

and I thought I could see a way that we could use it to project different colours of light into different fibers.

[Image changes back to show Steven Frisken, seated and talking to the camera]

Today we’re switching over a hundred colours of light,

[Image changes to show circuit boards in a rack]

and we’re switching them into up to 20 different fibers. So there’s two main components to our device. One is a glass prism that is able to divide the light into many different colours and the other is a liquid crystal on silicon chip,

[Image changes back to show Steven Frisken, seated and talking to the camera]

which is able to steer the light into different optical fibers.

[Image changes to Glen in a laboratory type setting]

Glen Baxter

Our devices are everywhere in the world, New York or London the mountain tops of Kenya, the jungles of Peru, the deserts of Saudi Arabia they’re there.

[Image changes back to show Dr Simon Poole, seated and talking to the camera]

Dr Simon Poole

To win the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation is a tremendous vindication of our decision back in 2001 to address one the really important problems of the developing Internet.

[Camera zooms in on Dr Simon Poole and his colleagues all standing and smiling at the camera]

[Music plays and text appears below the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation logo: Dr Simon Poole AO, Steven Frisken, Andrew Bartos & Glen Baxter, Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation]