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Friday, 18 July 2014 11:46

NICTA and Swinburne team up for new super R&D lab Featured

  Hon Ted Baillieu Hugh Durant-Whyte, CEO, NICTA Kon Mouzakis, Head, R&D Software Group, Swinburne University of Technology Prof. Jennelle Kyd, Acting Vice-Chancellor, Swinburne University of Technology  Hon Ted Baillieu Hugh Durant-Whyte, CEO, NICTA Kon Mouzakis, Head, R&D Software Group, Swinburne University of Technology Prof. Jennelle Kyd, Acting Vice-Chancellor, Swinburne University of Technology

NICTA and Swinburne have joined forces to deliver high-impact research to Victorian industry, through a new software R&D laboratory opened today.

The NICTA Swinburne Software Innovation Lab, located in the University’s Hawthorn campus, will pair NICTA’s strong ICT research capabilities with Swinburne’s software development expertise in a bid to create new economic opportunities for major Victorian industries.

The organisations said the lab will help industry participants achieve applied R&D outcomes that solve key problems with innovative mobile and software solutions, and is funded by cash and in-kind contributions from both NICTA and Swinburne.

The Honourable Ted Baillieu MP, Member for Hawthorn and former Premier of the state, formally launched the laboratory today.

NICTA and Swinburne said Industry participants will also contribute, while other Victoria universities will be invited to participate on a project per project basis.

They said the work will benefit partners in a diverse range of industries including manufacturing, utilities, transport and logistics, health, established and start-up ICT companies, as well as government agencies.

Swinbune has already worked closely with various industry players including The Alfred Hospital, Prompa, Visy, VicRoads and The Defence Science and Technology Organisation, providing software solutions which have reduced errors associated with reception and resuscitation of major trauma patients, supported operational and experimental military simulation activities around the country and enabled VicRoads to ensure a high percentage of road worthy cars are on Victorian roads.

Professor John Grundy will provide research leadership for the lab, while Swinburne’s Mr Kon Mouzakis will direct the lab operations.

Dr Rajesh Vasa Lab Deputy Head, will lead R&D capacity development engineering, and Associate Professor Antony Tang will lead and coordinate research and student development

“A key aim of this laboratory is to leverage University, NICTA and industry expertise to deliver tangible impacts to organisations and society by deriving benefits from software systems research by solving challenging ICT industry R&D problems

“This will also benefit many students by opening up opportunities for industry-based learning, PhD and intern positions, which will expose them further to industry R&D project work,” Professor Grundy said

Swinburne’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Professor Jennelle Kyd, said the partnership is an opportunity to build on existing research and establish new collaborations and outcomes for industry.

“Swinburne’s research in software engineering is a major strength within the University and one of the strongest software research and teaching groups in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Through these partnerships with industry and other universities, we will advance research to achieve results that are relevant to industry and society,” Professor Kyd said.

NICTA CEO Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte said Victorian industries are under pressure to improve their productivity and competitiveness, with many going through economic transitions.

“The NICTA Swinburne Software Lab will give Victorian companies access to some of the world’s best researchers in areas such as software engineering, data analytics and optimisation, matched with the ability to quickly transform that research into clear commercial benefits.

“We are proud to add the Swinburne Software Lab to our existing partnerships with six other Victorian Universities. It underscores NICTA’s commitment to ensure our research benefits Victoria by boosting productivity, assisting industries in transition, and potentially creating new start-up companies and export opportunities,” Professor Durrant-Whyte said.

The lab will house over a dozen R&D staff and over a dozen PhD and project students. Key skills of the lab will centre on software engineering, mobile and cloud computing, information visualisation and software security.

Today's launch follows a recent announcement between NICTA and Telstra, which will see the pair work on projects of "mutual interest." The Victorian Government slashed NICTA's funding back in February, leading the organisation to partner strategically with companies like Telstra, and now Swinburne.

For its part Swinburne hasn't been quiet either - as we announced back in May the univeristy recently announced a breakthrough in graphene photonics.

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