30.09.2021

ANFF Statement on passing of Ian Griffiths

It is with great sadness that we must announce the sudden passing of Dr Ian Griffiths, our wonderful CEO.

Ian, who was a brilliant, dedicated and passionate man, will be fondly remembered by all of those who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Always light-hearted but fiercely driven in his work, he has left a significant impact on ANFF’s network and the Australian R&D community as a whole.

Ian’s career focused on making it easier to extract real-world impact from exciting research with a particular eye for medical technologies. The paths he has carved will benefit people for years to come, making an enormous difference to all of those involved in research development and the uncountable number of people whose lives are made better by the technologies he helped deliver.

His special blend of eternal optimism and acute realism provided him with an uncanny ability to spot potential and understand what was needed to capture it – this is made all the more impressive when you factor in his legendary ability to break his own laptop. In addition to being personally engaging with anyone he met, Ian could instantly distil the most in-depth technical concepts or complicated legal practices into common-sense statements that convinced you whatever he was saying was the most important, yet matter-of-fact thing, you’d ever heard. None of the ANFF team will ever hear the phrase: “Tops of the waves” without first chuckling, then thinking of him.

The Chairman of ANFF, Emeritus Professor Chris Fell, said: “The ANFF community is in deep shock over Ian’s passing. We owe him so much. He brought his wisdom on the path to commercialisation of university R&D to ANFF and set about identifying with ANFF’s researchers those projects having short-term marketable potential, indicating the steps required to lift their Technology Readiness Levels to an extent where they would be attractive to institutions and angel investors. ANFF has been much enriched by his leadership and his loss is a deep blow to our community.”

ANFF Chief Operating Officer, Dr Jane Fitzpatrick, said: “Working with Ian has been a wonderful experience. His passion and insights into our organisation and what we are capable of have been truly inspiring. Personally, I have enjoyed having him in my life for the past couple of years and ANFF will feel less rich without him.”

Ian is remembered by his loving wife, Hayley, and his mother, Marion, who we are thinking of constantly. We ask that anyone that knew Ian through his work and wants to reach out to his family, to do so by via ANFF in order to respect Hayley’s privacy during this time. If you would like to send condolences, please contact Matthew Wright (matthew.wright@anff.org.au) with a message and it will be passed to the family.

He will be laid to rest on 12 October 2021, details are available here: https://www.swanboroughfunerals.com.au/private-dr-ian-michael-griffiths/.

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