Michael Aitken, a former UNSW Australia Business School professor has been awarded a Prime Minister’s Prize for innovation for developing software which detects fraud in the stock market.
Aitken, who is also the founding CEO of the Capital Markets Co-operative Research Centre (based at Sydney’s CBD) created the SMARTS software along with his team, which was later sold to the world’s largest exchange company, the US-based Nasdaq for $100m.
Dr Aitken, the former chair of Capital Marketing Technology at UNSW Australia, was awarded the $250,000 prize for his innovation in creating a commercial tool that makes stock markets fairer and more efficient.
“We sometimes chide ourselves that all we seem to be doing is digging up Australia and transporting it to the rest of the world and in the process of so doing, innovation has suffered. Nothing could be farther from the truth in financial markets. I could not have imagined when I started that straight forward field work at the heart of which was the simple question, ‘how do financial markets work?’ could have led me to this honour” said Aitken.
The prizes were presented by Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, at a dinner at Parliament House, Canberra.
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