Aussie University Creates Center for AI IoT

Image credit: iStockphoto/Blue Planet Studio

The University of Wollongong and technology giants Telstra, Microsoft and NVIDIA, will partner in creating a hub for the creation and development of the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIOT), helping Australia access a world market estimated to reach USD26.2 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 AUD1.7 million Australian 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 optimized 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 ten 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 and 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 USD26.2 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 added.

Image credit: iStockphoto/Blue Planet Studio