Wednesday, 18 March 2015 11:32

Cisco to open $20m research centre in Australia Featured


Cisco has announced a major investment in a new Internet of Everything (IoE) innovation centre in Australia, with locations in Sydney and Perth.

The Australian centre will be one of eight globally. The others are in Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, Songdo (Korea), Berlin, Barcelona, Tokyo and London.

Cisco says its IoE Innovation Centres are aimed at “catalysing and showcasing IoE innovation and development, bringing together customers, industry partners, start-ups, application developers, accelerators, government organisations and universities.”

The official opening of the Australia centre is planned for later this year. It will include locations at academic research centre Sirca in Sydney, and in Perth at Curtin University. Cisco says it will invest US$15 million ($20 million) over five years into the Centre, “reaffirming its global pledge and commitment to new economic growth through technology innovation around IoE.”

At the Centre Cisco researchers, industry partners and “ecosystem start-ups” will develop proof of concepts, features and functionalities, and carry out rapid prototyping. Cisco says the Centre will include dedicated space to demonstrate IoE in action and open areas where customers, start-ups, open communities, researchers, entrepreneurs and technology enthusiasts will be invited to work and brainstorm on new ideas and technologies.

The initial ecosystem partners of the Cisco IoE Innovation Centre, Australia, currently include Sirca (owned by 40 universities across Australia and New Zealand), Curtin University and Woodside Energy.

“Australia is a sophisticated market with a high level of innovation and an early adopter of new technology,” said Irving Tan, head of Cisco in Asia Pacific and Japan. “Australia is already highly regarded globally for its resources and agriculture sectors and is well-placed to serve the rapidly growing Asian markets, and the Australian government has prioritised these sectors accordingly.

“Cisco has been involved in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project for over five years. The aim now with Cisco IoE Innovation Centre, Australia and its ecosystem of partners is to accelerate innovation and the adoption of the IoE in Australia,”

Cisco has been pushing the IoE concept (aka the Internet of Things) concept strongly. It defines it as “the intelligent connection of people, processes, data and things to the Internet, brings unprecedented economic opportunities to private and public sectors.”

Cisco consultants have used 61 real-world use cases to calculate that IoE-based solutions can deliver US$19 trillion of economic value worldwide over the next decade. According to a recent Cisco study, Australia is one of the countries with the greatest potential to benefit from IoE, thanks to its proximity to Asia, its well-trained engineers and its innovation power. Cisco estimates the potential value of the IoE for the Australian economy to be more than US$74 billion over the next ten years.

“Developing a vibrant ecosystem and vertical solutions creates building blocks essential to capture the full value of IoE,” said Tan. “The Cisco IoE Innovation Centre Australia will be a platform for technology ideas and open innovation which will help develop and test new solutions. The Centre will contribute to improve business outcomes and quality of life, as well as spark a new generation of start-ups and jobs in Australia.”

Professor Graeme Wright, deputy vice-chancellor for R&D at Curtin University, said: “Curtin University has been a major player in the development of Australia’s capability underpinning the SKA and has built a broad base of computational and data scientists. We look forward to hosting the lab on our Perth Bentley Campus and working with our partners to help unlock economic and social benefit.”

Dr Michael Briers, CEO of Sirca, said: “Sirca’s involvement in the Centre is an important opportunity to work with global leaders such as Cisco, as well as other partners to develop solutions for the knowledge economy. We have a proven track record in handling very large data sets and providing data analysis for organisations to enable better visibility and decision support.”

More information at the Cisco IoE Innovation Centre Australia Site.


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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.



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