Scientific Advisors

Albert “Skip” Rizzo, Ph.D.

Albert “Skip” Rizzo, Ph.D.

Director, Medical Virtual Reality - Institute for Creative Technologies

Albert “Skip” Rizzo is a clinical psychologist and Director of Medical Virtual Reality at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies. He is also a Research Professor with the USC Dept. of Psychiatry and at the USC Davis School of Gerontology. Over the last 25 years, Skip has conducted research on the design, development and evaluation of Virtual Reality systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment and rehabilitation across the domains of psychological, cognitive and motor functioning in both healthy and clinical populations. This work has focused on PTSD, TBI, Autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other clinical conditions. Some of his recent work has involved the creation of artificially intelligent virtual human (VH) patients that novice clinicians can use to practice skills required for challenging diagnostic interviews and for creating online virtual human healthcare guides, and clinical interviewers with automated sensing of facial, gestural, and vocal behaviors useful for inferring the state of the user interacting with these virtual human entities. In spite of the diversity of these clinical R&D areas, the common thread that drives all of his work with digital technologies involves the study of how interactive and immersive Virtual Reality simulations can be usefully applied to address human healthcare needs beyond what is possible with traditional 20th Century tools and methods.

Professor Bob Stone

Professor Bob Stone

Director, Human Interface Technologies Team - University of Birmingham

Bob Stone, a Human Factors specialist and a 33-year “veteran” of the international Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality community, is a Visiting Professor in XR and Telepresence at the University of Birmingham’s Extreme Robotics Laboratory, and Director of the Human Interface Technologies Team. Bob first experienced VR in 1987, at the NASA Ames Research Center in California, during a major space telerobotics project sponsored by the European Space Agency. In 1993, whilst researching VR and telerobotics at the UK’s National Advanced Robotics Centre, and following an appearance on the BBC’s 9 O’Clock News, Bob established the world’s first industrial VR team, launching a countrywide collaborative VR initiative, wholly funded by industry. For many years he was the Scientific Director of a small British VR company, until, in 2003, he decided to join academia with the goal of introducing real-world lessons learned, stakeholder experiences and the importance of “impact” into VR research and teaching.

Bob and his team regularly spend time conducting studies in the field alongside subject matter experts. This approach served him and his team well as members of the Human Factors Integration Defence Technology Centre programme (2003-2012), during which time Bob was the Centre’s Research Director. His research has taken him from Royal Navy vessels conducting close-range weapons and missile trials to underwater operations onboard submarines and rescue submersibles; and from search-and-rescue helicopter missions to operating theatres and medical units throughout the UK, US and South Africa. Bob and his team also specialise in unmanned systems technologies, including small UAVs and remotely controlled submersibles. Today, Bob works closely with the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine and various UK hospitals, researching the use of VR and MR for physical and mental health restoration and rehabilitation, and for the training of future military Medical Emergency Response Teams (MERTs).

In 2011, Bob was awarded the Ministry of Defence Chief Scientific Advisor’s Commendation for his contributions to Defence Science & Technology. In July 2017, Bob and his team were awarded the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network Innovative Team of the Year Award, and, at the Inaugural (2018) West Midlands Tech Awards, the Innovation in Medicine and Health Award.

Technology Advisors

Antony “Skarredghost” Vitillo

Antony “Skarredghost” Vitillo

AR/VR Consultant, Blogger

Antony “Skarredghost” Vitillo is an AR/VR consultant, startupper, blogger and community member.

In 2014, he tried an Oculus Rift DK2 and he immediately fell in love with virtual reality. In that moment, he decided that he wanted VR to be the purpose of his life.

That journey led him at first to start Immotionar, a startup that had the dream of revolutioning virtual reality by adding the full body avatar of the user in 2014; then, in 2016, to start his blog The Ghost Howls, to inform people about virtual reality; and in the end in 2017, after the end of his startup, to create a new agency to offer AR/VR consultancies called New Technology Walkers. There he continues innovating, and his recent mixed reality experiments with the Vive Focus, prove this.

Antony has spoken in various VR events, like the important Vive Immersive Conference in Shenzhen or the WTT in Turin. As a blogger, he has also taken part to other manifestations like the Gamescom in Cologne, the View Conference in Turin, or the Sandbox Immersive Festival in Qingdao. He has also contributed to the important book Convergence by Forbes’s journalist Charlie Fink.

He is considered as one of the top 50 worldwide VR influencers, and this lets him connect to important people in the XR ecosystem. In 2018, he has also been a Quora top writer.

Whatever he does, he works with passion and grit. Even if, as a popular meme says, most of the time, he has no idea what he is doing.

Business Advisors

Nigel Chartres

Nigel Chartres

Consultant, futures strategist and systems thinker

Nigel Chartres is a consultant, futures strategist and systems thinker, with extensive experience in all aspects of management, strategic business planning, stakeholder engagement, project management and solutions delivery.

Nigel has formal qualifications in science and business systems and through memberships of professional organisations continues to develop innovative approaches for addressing complex issues and problems.

Nigel is currently a member of:

• The Australian Computer Society (ACS);
• The Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA); and
• Records & Information Management Professionals Australasia (RIMPA).

Nigel has achieved significant success in delivering new programs, improved business arrangements and systems in many government environments and community-based organisations.

Nigel is able to work with diverse groups of stakeholders to achieve excellence and success by using well developed and demonstrated methodologies, frameworks, approaches, techniques and tools. Examples of these include the Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) and Applying Research and Innovation for Advancing the Development of Networked Enterprises (ARIADNE).

Nigel’s overall approach to facilitating the future is to engage, encourage, enable and empower stakeholders to develop practical approaches for taking situations forward, by building collaborative partnerships to provide better outcomes for society.

Since early 2012 Nigel has been the project manager for the design, development and delivery of the Certified Health Informatician Australasia (CHIA) program.

Plus, commencing in late 2015, Nigel has been assisting Dr Louise Schaper with putting together a framework for the Future Digital Health Workforce Strategy for HISA to design, develop and deliver for Australia’s health workforce.

Nigel is also an active contributor to strategic discussions in relation to the recently released Sustainable Health Review (SHR) and the related Digital Health Strategy (DHS) for the Health Department of Western Australia (WA).

Vee Pendergrast

Vee Pendergrast

Consultant, Advocate

Vee Pendergrast is a former managing director of a serious games and VR studio-turned operations consultant in games and interactive. She has spent the last ten years in this field and has around twenty years of experience in various technology sectors.

Vee regularly consults to screen bodies, industry associations and has advised political parties and state government on the interactive industry, both for entertainment and more serious applications. She has attended interactive expos in Melbourne, Perth, San Francisco and Cologne.

The application of game-originated technologies to give positive societal outcomes is a particular focus for Vee, having been part of a team that produced several serious games.

Entrepreneurship Advisors

Greg Riebe

Greg Riebe

Innovation and Corporate Venturing Adviser, Tech Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, Mentor

Greg works with business leaders to achieve breakthrough results by innovating for growth, securing required capital and executing to increase enterprise value.
Greg’s extensive experience in corporates, SMEs and start-ups, has honed a unique set of skills that recognises where enabling technologies combined with highly-scalable business models can result in fundable high performance operating businesses regardless of size and maturity.
Greg is Principal of his own Business Transformation, Corporate Venturing and Investment Management advisory practice that provides services for corporates and mid-tier and early-stage ventures.
Greg is also a Non-Executive Director/Chairman of a number of Australia technology businesses, a Member of the Advisory Board for Western Australian Leaders, a founding member immediate Past Chair of the Perth Angel Investors, a Thought Leader with WAITTA Incite Alliance, a founding member of the eGroup Association supporting online entrepreneurs and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.