Professor Michael Aitken AM was awarded the 2016 Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation for his work creating and commercialising tools that are making global markets fair and efficient. 

Professor Aitken was surprised to learn that securities regulators were authorising changes to the structure of markets with no evidence  base either before or after each decision they took. In part, the reason was that the data to make these decisions did not exist. Professor Aitken subsequently designed and built the Thomson Reuters Tick History Service to solve this problem. He then built the SMARTS Market Surveillance Service to operationalise the concept of fairness, one of two key concepts (the other being efficiency) that all regulators were required to measure pre and post every market design change.

“I’m very thankful that the work we’ve done has been recognised at such a high level,” said Professor Aitken. “To see the positive impact of the research on a global scale has been a wonderful thing, I hope that by helping our financial markets the research has also contributed to the future funding of innovation worldwide.”

All the award recipients were presented their prizes by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science at a black-tie event on Wednesday 19 October 2016.

Professor Michael Aitken AM (Photo credit: Inspiring Australia)