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New Hub to make Australia a Global Leader in AIOT solutions

Image Credits: UOW, Press Release

The University of Wollongong and three technology giants are uniting to position the Illawarra as a global leader in the uptake and creation of the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIOT), helping Australia access a world market estimated to reach US$26.2 billion by 2023.

The University’s SMART Infrastructure Facility will establish the Telstra-UOW Hub for AIOT Solutions, delivering innovative, cost-effective and fit-for-purpose AIOT solutions for communities, enterprises and governments.

The Hub will be developed through the support of a $1.7 million Federal Government grant via the Strategic University Reform Fund (SURF). It will give Australia international traction while using applied research to increase productivity and create jobs.

Its focus will be world-leading research in several AIOT technologies, including AI-enabled video analytics, sensor-embedded edge computing for optimised data fusion and transmission, as well as industrial digital twin technology.

Once established, the Hub will strive to improve the adoption of AIOT technologies by Illawarra industries, attracting and retaining a skilled workforce in AI and IoT technologies. It will develop a regional ecosystem of innovative small to medium enterprises focused on AIOT products and services, and ensure greater sovereignty of Australia in sensitive sectors such as AI and IoT technologies.

Four initial pilot projects have been identified for immediate design and testing of AIOT solutions with 10 projects expected to be supported during the initial two years of the collaboration. The AIOT Solutions will be supported by cellular LPWAN (NB-IOT) or LTE/5G technologies as well as cloud computing such as Microsoft Azure.

The four projects will focus on intelligent manufacturing, smart transport, smart logistics and resilient infrastructure, which will be tested at scale with the support of key end-users such as Bluescope Steel, Premier Illawarra, Remondis, and Wollongong City Council.

The UOW Vice-Chancellor said the SURF grant would cover the development of the Hub, which will connect a task force of 30 AIOT experts from industry and academia. The University’s mission is to help improve society through research, collaboration and innovation, and we have a long history of being at the forefront of deploying technology within the Illawarra.

The Hub has the potential to create AIOT solutions with worldwide applications that will be refined and tested locally. By working with the three tech giants, UOW can position the region as a leader in the uptake and creation of AIOT-enabled solutions, she said.

SMART Infrastructure Facility Director said that the Hub would help Australia access an AIOT market estimated to reach US$26.2 billion by 2023. It provides the Illawarra and Australia with a unique chance to move from early adopters to leading innovators in the AIOT space, he said.

The Group Executive of Product and Technology at one of the tech giants – a leading telecom – noted that the company was proud to be supporting the University of Wollongong on establishing the new AIOT Innovation Hub.

Combined with Telstra 5G, the potential applications of these transformative technologies including edge computing, Digital Twins, IoT, AI, ComputerVision, and drones are profound. That’s why the firm is excited to put them into the hands of some of the smartest people across different industries while helping them create the best environment to build and test solutions.

A spokesperson for one of the other partnering tech firms, an American IT company, said that through this hub, UOW can take an innovative lead for the Illawarra region, the community and its members. Combining the firm’s Azure ecosystem and the telecom’s 5G network will enable UOW to build high impact end-to-end digital solutions, and we look forward to this exciting partnership.

Meanwhile, the Country Manager, ANZ at the third partnering firm, a US-based computer systems design services company noted that its pioneering work in accelerated computing to solve problems normal computers cannot solve will benefit both the research and production capabilities of the projects being targeted by the Hub.

Simultaneously, the work that was undertaken at the hub ties into the company’s strategies for such applications as ethical AI, secure end-to-end communications and edge computing to build smarter, secure and safer cities.

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