by Bonnie Gardiner

New Sydney innovation centre to develop IoT technologies

Feb 15, 2016
Big DataCloud ComputingCollaboration Software

A new Sydney-based innovation hub will enable technologists to develop Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for the agriculture, transport, and natural resources sectors and support the creation of smart cities.

Innovation Central Sydney, located at ATP Innovations in Sydney’s Australian Technology Park, is the second such hub in Australia following Cisco’s Internet of Everything (IoE) Innovation Centre launched in Perth last year with Curtin University and Woodside Energy.

Cisco is investing US$15 million into the Australian centres over five years in addition to investments from partners in industry, government and academia.

The CSIRO’s Data61, the University of New South Wales (UNSW), National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), NSW Farmers Association, ATP Innovations and the NSW Department of Primary Industries, have partnered with Cisco for the project.

The centre will contribute an environment where customers, startups, open communities, researchers, entrepreneurs and technology enthusiasts can work together to develop new ideas and technologies, Cisco said. It will involve developing proof-of-concepts, features and functionalities and rapid prototyping to demonstrate IoT in action.

Cisco also plans to link Innovation Central Sydney to a hub on campus at UNSW in an effort to recruit undergraduates and postgraduates to apply their skills towards digital transformation challenges and opportunities in Australia.

The Sydney centre will also use data gathered via the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Program to improve business outcomes, processes and quality of life. In conjunction to IoT networks, the centre will focus on cyber security, the cloud and data analytics.

Recent research from Cisco found that Australia is poised to benefit greatly from IoT due to its proximity to Asia, its well-trained engineers, and innovation power, with an anticipated US$74 billion of potential added value from harnessing IoT over the next 10 years.

At the centre launch on Monday, Ken Boal, VP Cisco Australia and New Zealand said the next wave of internet usage signifies the need to go beyond the abilities of the human brain to harness machine learning.

“Machine-to-machine communications is going to start really taking off where now things will be connected to computers that can see more than we can see and can think much faster than we can. That is a really important point, this inflection point, doing so much more than humans could do in the past,” said Boal.

“Now beyond the human brain, we need to measure things with sensors, collect that data and do something smart with it and that is really the kernel or the basis of what we’re trying to do today.

“By collecting that data we can transform cities, we can transform agriculture, and we can transform so many other sectors. That enables us to go beyond the human limitations,” he said.