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New Centre for Data Science for Sustained Societal Impact

Australia Centre for Data Science

Australia’s Queensland University of Technology has announced an AU$7.5 million Centre for Data Science.

As reported, the new centre will be led by Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen.

Centre for Data Science

The Centre will initially do the following functions:

  1. Initiate a DataScience@QUT Network to bring together researchers from many different QUT schools and faculties
  2. Create solutions to fundamental problems of gathering, modelling and analysing data and making data-informed decisions when dealing with a wide range of issues including health, environment, business and industry
  3. Establish and lead an Australian Data Science Network
  4. Lead the next phase of a 20-year study into the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane development project

Data Science Network

  • Modern-day data-focused decision-making requires input from a variety of experts, apart from statisticians and computer scientists.
  • These experts are drawn from areas of law, business, health, biology, and environment, among others.
  • Overcoming challenging data science problems requires taking a solutions-based approach to problem-solving and bringing the right mix of skilled people together.
  • The centre will be the lead node for a new Australian Data Science Network that will bring together data science organisations from around the country.
  • The University is perfectly positioned to lead a national entity given the depth and breadth of its activities. Plus, partnerships with external organisations will be formed.
  • The centre aims to provide a one-stop shop for collaboration across these universities and industry partnerships.

Utilising Data Science for Projects

  • The Professor shared that virtually every faculty at the University dealt with data and made important decisions based on those data in areas of health, environment, business, government and society.
  • The centre comes along at a crucial time to help advance some of the University-led flagship projects as well as those still developing.
  • An example is a project with the United Nations to help countries use satellite data for agricultural development as well as the Australian Cancer Atlas project.
  • A number of flagship projects are already underway at the centre. One of which is the first-of-its-kind study into Queen’s Wharf Brisbane (QWB).

Queen’s Wharf Brisbane

Queen’s Wharf is an AU$ 3.6 billion integrated resort development in the Brisbane CBD. The project includes hotel and residential accommodation, a casino, retail and entertainment areas and new public space.

A Longitudinal Benefits and Impacts Study (LBIS), which was jointly initiated by the University and the Queensland Government, was monitoring the social and economic effects of QWB from the very start and would continue to do so into the future.

The LBIS will capture outcomes for the QWB precinct, for the city of Brisbane, and for the state of Queensland.

The intention is to record these outcomes over a significant time span, allowing decision-makers to proactively plan, coordinate, manage and improve the development.

The initial phases of the study helped establish a baseline, allowing researchers to begin tracking changes as construction moves forward and QWB begins to take shape.

Key areas of study include Connectivity, Safety, Public Sentiment, Finance and Construction, and Tourism and Business Returns.

The Centre’s vision is to be a national and global leader in the development of frontier methods for the purposeful application of data to make a sustained societal impact.


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