Curtin joins Cisco, Optus for cross-industry partnership

15/06/2020 - 14:24

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Curtin University will join Cisco, Optus, and La Trobe University to establish a new cross-industry alliance aimed at using their collective resources to address changing digital infrastructure and stimulate economic activity.

Curtin joins Cisco, Optus for cross-industry partnership
Deborah Terry says Curtin's existing partnerships prove the value of sharing resources across industries. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Curtin University will join Cisco, Optus, and La Trobe University to establish a new cross-industry alliance aimed at using their collective resources to address changing digital infrastructure and stimulate economic activity.

Named the National Industry Innovation Network, the alliance will build on Curtin's existing partnerships with Optus and Cisco, which have led to the university developing new facilities, including the CISCO-sponsored Centre for Intent-Based Networking.

According to a joint announcement from the four partners, the alliance will focus on establishing a model for industry and universities to approach long-term national interests, and is expected to grow over time as companies become involved in individual projects.

Curtin vice-chancellor Deborah Terry said the university had demonstrated that sharing resources and expertise brought great value to the national economy.

“We are proud to partner with Cisco, Optus, and La Trobe to take a leading role in finding new ways to solve industry problems and address national challenges,” Professor Terry said.

La Trobe vice-chancellor John Dewar welcomed the alliance as an important move by industry and universities to support economic recovery and digital transformation.

“This is an exciting new development with the potential to change the way we think about collaborations between universities and industry for the benefit of the nation,” Professor Dewar said.

Cisco vice-president Ken Boal said the aim of the network was to make the national economy more adaptive and resilient to change.

“We can take the learnings out of the recent surge in the adoption of collaboration technologies that have enabled remote working, and build on the capability and productivity that’s been realised, to support a more resilient digital economy and society,” he said.

Optus managing director Chris Mitchell said Australia faced immense health and economic challenges, and no single company or university had all the answers.

“In combining our technology, expertise and networks, we can create a greater impact together,” he said.

“It is in Australia’s interest to provide governments, peak bodies and industry with the information necessary to make informed decisions on security, privacy, scalability and usability.”

Today’s news comes after Curtin and Optus announced in May that they would partner to develop an on-campus 5G lab for projects exploring the technology’s benefits to business.

Professor Terry at the time said the lab would allow students to make substantial contributions to the Australian economy.

“Curtin’s new smart campus will allow students to learn new digital skills and experience the power of 5G through practical, hands-on applied research while collaborating with industry,” she said.

“We will also be able to better integrate emerging technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence into our teaching and learning programs.

“Importantly the technology will enable Curtin to deliver a high-quality experience to overcome the tyranny of distance, particularly in Western Australia, for remote education, healthcare and other areas.”

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