Michael Schwager

Director General

IP Australia

Michael Schwager image

Since 2018, Michael has served as director general of IP Australia, leading a customer-focused, digital-first strategy that spurred unprecedented growth in IP rights during the pandemic and positioned IP Australia as a hub for public sector innovation.

Before this role, Michael was the chief operating officer at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and briefly served as acting chief operating officer at CSIRO. His extensive career includes managing the $3B R&D tax incentive, developing policies for med-tech, pharma-bio, and small businesses, and attracting foreign investment into Australia’s high-tech industries. He also led trade and multilateral negotiations in food, agriculture, and energy.

From 2012 to 2015, Michael was minister-counsellor (industry, science, and education) at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC. He previously worked as a researcher and speechwriter in Parliament House and as an auditor for a multinational accounting firm. Michael holds a bachelor of economics and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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