Tuesday, 09 March 2010 11:57

Telstra backs five external R&D projects

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Over 200 research and development projects have been whittled down to a list of five that will receive assistance from Telstra.

Last August, Telstra invited members of the Australian research and development community to participate in a program that would deliver advice from Telstra experts, contact with the company's partners, and joint PR opportunities.

The main criteria were that the idea should be a significant one, and have some relevance to Telstra's business.

Research institutions, universities, start-ups, established companies, equipment vendors and others were invited to apply.

The first round of applications closed in September, and after reviewing more than 220 submissions Telstra has now announced the five projects it will be supporting.

Dev-Audio's Microcone is an intelligent microphone designed to pick up voices from multiple directions while reducing background noise, making it suitable for teleconferencing.

"Telstra's assistance is a timely boost to Dev-Audio as it seeks to complete the transition of this technology from research to the market," said Dev-Audio founder Iain McCowan.

Please read on to learn about the other four projects.



LaTrobe University's Rehabilitation for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) system delivers a supervised remote exercise regime via video link.

"Pulmonary rehabilitation improves the lives of people with COPD but too few Australians have access to this important treatment. This project will deliver Pulmonary Rehabilitation to more Australians, especially those in regional and rural areas," said associate professor Anne Holland.

Neural Diagnostics' e-mental healthcare delivery program aims to diagnose a range of mental health issues using sensors placed in the patient's ear canals that detect brain activity. The technology was developed at Monash University.

Telstra's assistance will allow a trial of the mobile delivery of the service.

QuintessenceLabs' Quantum Link Encryptor (QLE-1) is second generation quantum cryptography technology that could enable untappable and ultra-secure communications.

Telstra will provide network access for testing and trials, as well as technical expertise.

Ever heard of a taggle? You'll know what it is if you turn to page 3.



Taggle Systems' 'taggle' is a small and inexpensive tag allowing the location and status (eg temperature) of items to be tracked via the Internet.

Telstra will contribute expertise with radio network planning, provide a backhaul network for the transmission of data from the taggle and potentially provide access to Sensis mapping data.

"Each of these programs has the potential to provide a significant benefit to the Australian community," said Telstra CTO Hugh Bradlow, the person behind the program.

"While very divergent in nature, all the projects demonstrate how telecommunications networks can assist with the delivery of services in an innovative way," he added.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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