Monday, 20 February 2017 18:48

Huawei, James Cook Uni collaborate on IoT research


The Australian arm of giant Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei and Queensland’s James Cook University are collaborating on the development of the latest innovations and technology around NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT).

In what Huawei Australia and the university describe as an Australian first, they will jointly host a dedicated live NB-IoT lab to research and develop applications, smart devices and sensor networks.

Under the agreement, Huawei has provided the university with the latest IoT technology, as well as direct funding for specialised research, and research carried out at the IoT lab will feed into Huawei’s global IoT development.

Huawei says the new IoT laboratory will support the first IoT-specific engineering degree offered in Australia.

Eighty students of JCU’s IoT specific engineering programme will have the opportunity to train and learn on live, cutting-edge IoT technology in real time. The IoT degree combines the study of electronic engineering with Internet technologies, wireless communications, sensor devices, industrial design and cloud computing.

Huawei Australia chief executive Xichu Zhao said part of the research would focus on IoT for a smart reef, smart healthcare and smart agriculture.

“We all know that IoT is going to be the major game changing technology of the future and NB-IoT will be the major driver of this ICT revolution,” Zhao said.

“Huawei is committed to open innovation and co-operation, creating greater value for our customers, advancing the ICT industry, and ultimately investing and building a better connected Australia.

“Working closely with strong partners like James Cook University, we can help build a stronger and better IoT ecosystem.

Zhao said, to further support the University and its students, Huawei would also offer JCU IoT students the opportunity to travel to Huawei’s global headquarters in China and its Australian headquarters in Sydney as part of its highly successful Seeds for the Future programme.

“The Internet of Things is based on something that is central to our mission in the tropics: building greater connectivity between people, place and technology,” James Cook University vice-chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said.

“From designing smarter cities, to growing precision agricultural systems, monitoring natural environments in real-time, and creating clever health solutions that work in remote communities – we don’t want to be just a part of that future, we want to lead it. Huawei are the perfect partners for us in that ambition."

The Huawei/James Cook University IoT lab was officially opened on Monday by John Lord, chairman of Huawei, and Harding.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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