Johan Barthelemy, Iain Russell, Tania Brown, Pascal Perez at the SMART Infrastructure Facility for the launch of the Telstra-UOW Hub for AIOT Solutions

Telstra-UOW Hub to make Australia a global leader in AIOT solutions

Telstra-UOW Hub to make Australia a global leader in AIOT solutions

Hub will deliver innovative, cost-effective and fit-for-purpose Artificial Intelligence of Things solutions for communities, enterprises and governments

The University of Wollongong and technology giants Telstra, Microsoft and NVIDIA are uniting to position the Illawarra as a global leader in the uptake and creation of the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIOT), helping Australia access a world market estimated to reach US$26.2 billion by 2023.

The University’s SMART Infrastructure Facility will establish the Telstra-UOW Hub for AIOT Solutions, delivering innovative, cost-effective and fit-for-purpose AIOT solutions for communities, enterprises and governments.

The Telstra-UOW Hub will be developed through the support of a $1.7 million Federal Government grant via the Strategic University Reform Fund (SURF). It will give Australia international traction while using applied research to increase productivity and create jobs.

Its focus will be world-leading research in several AIOT technologies, including AI-enabled video analytics, sensor-embedded edge computing for optimised data fusion and transmission, as well as industrial digital twin technology.

Once established, the Telstra-UOW Hub will strive to improve the adoption of AIOT technologies by Illawarra industries, attracting and retaining a skilled workforce in AI and IoT technologies. It will develop a regional ecosystem of innovative small to medium enterprises focused on AIOT products and services, and ensure greater sovereignty of Australia in sensitive sectors such as AI and IoT technologies.

Four initial pilot projects have been identified for immediate design and testing of AIOT solutions with 10 projects expected to be supported during the initial two years of the collaboration. The AIOT Solutions will be supported by cellular LPWAN (NB-IOT) or LTE/5G technologies as well as cloud computing such as Microsoft Azure.

The four projects will focus on intelligent manufacturing, smart transport, smart logistics and resilient infrastructure, which will be tested at scale with the support of key end-users such as Bluescope Steel, Premier Illawarra, Remondis, and Wollongong City Council.

UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Patricia M. Davidson said the SURF grant would cover the development of the Telstra-UOW Hub, which will connect a task force of 30 AIOT experts from industry and academia.

“At the UOW, we believe it is important for our academic leaders, researchers and developers to work with industry and community groups to deliver practical solutions with long-term benefits,” she said.

“Our mission is to help improve society through research, collaboration and innovation, and we have a long history of being at the forefront of deploying technology within the Illawarra. The Telstra-UOW Hub has the potential to create AIOT solutions with worldwide applications that will be refined and tested locally. By working with Telstra, Microsoft and Nvidia, we can position the region as a leader in the uptake and creation of AIOT-enabled solutions.”

SMART Infrastructure Facility Director Professor Pascal Perez said the Telstra-UOW Hub would help Australia access an AIOT market estimated to reach US$26.2 billion by 2023.

“The hub provides the Illawarra and Australia with a unique chance to move from early adopters to leading innovators in the AIOT space,” he said.

“This is an incredible opportunity and I would like to thank Dr Johan Barthelemy, who leads SMART’s IoT Hub and Digital Living Lab, for driving the collaboration with our technology industry partners. It is through this collaboration and the support of regional enterprise that this operation will succeed.”

Telstra Group Executive of Product and Technology, Kim Krogh Andersen said, “We’re proud to be supporting University of Wollongong on establishing the new AIOT Innovation Hub. We look forward to working with the other partners to help develop pilot projects for Illawarra customers.

“Combined with Telstra 5G, the potential applications of these transformative technologies including edge compute, Digital Twins, IoT, AI, ComputerVision, and drones are profound. That’s why we’re excited to put them into the hands of some of the smartest people across different industries, while helping them create the best environment to build and test solutions.

“I’d like to thank Dr Iain Russell who led the engagement into the Illawarra community and our key partners to help establish the consortium.”

Microsoft spokesperson Steven Miller said, “We see the UOW, through this hub, taking an innovative lead for the Illawarra region, the community and its members. Combining Microsoft’s Azure ecosystem and Telstra’s 5G network will enable UOW to build high impact end-to-end digital solutions, and we look forward to this exciting partnership.”

Country Manager – Enterprise, ANZ at NVIDIA Sudarshan Ramachandran said, “Our pioneering work in accelerated computing to solve problems normal computers cannot solve will benefit both the research and production capabilities of the projects being targeted by the Telstra-UOW Hub.

“Simultaneously, the work undertaken at the hub ties into our strategies for such applications as ethical AI, secure end-to-end communications and edge computing to build smarter, secure and safer cities.”