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NBN Co announces new R&D relationships with leading universities

30 April 2018

Initial three-year relationships will enable R&D to be jointly conducted with the University of Melbourne and UTS

NBN Co – the company building Australia’s new broadband network – today announced major collaborative relationships with the University of Melbourne (UoM) and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

The areas of focus for these agreements will include research and development (R&D) of technologies such as robotics, Internet of Things, technology for social good, programmable networks, data analytics and visualisation for customer experience, artificial intelligence, wireless technologies and smart cities.

In addition to R&D, the agreements are expected to cover additional opportunities for collaboration such as post-doctoral research opportunities and student exchanges.

Each of these focus areas align under the goal of collaboration to adapt new ideas and translate innovation into a commercial reality.

The deployment of the nbn™ broadband access network is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the history of Australia and NBN Co is continuously developing new technologies that will help enable better services on the network for Australians.

Combining our technical resources with UTS and UoM in these relationships should enhance our ability to bring new technologies into the market that will help us improve the end-user experience and positively impact people’s lives.

In addition, allowing UTS and UoM access to NBN Co’s substantial technical resources will also be hugely beneficial to these universities and their students in terms of gaining access to real-world telecoms network operational data.

Dr Ray Owen, Chief Technology Officer at NBN, said:

“These two new relationships will help NBN Co double down on our strong focus on technology innovation for customer experience and operational excellence.

“With these innovative institutions – UoM and UTS – we saw a natural fit in helping NBN Co further enable the digital economy.

“We are committed to supporting the higher-education sector and are excited about scoping out the opportunities for R&D in the coming months.”

Professor Mark Hargreaves, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research Collaboration and Partnerships) at the University of Melbourne, said:

“We are delighted to be working with NBN Co to undertake innovative research that shapes our connected future. 

“The relationship, driven by the University of Melbourne’s Networked Society Institute, connects NBN Co to the outstanding research talent of the University.

“We are excited to see our researchers and students work closely with NBN Co to create positive social and economic impact.”

Professor Ian Burnett, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and IT at UTS, said:

“This collaborative relationship with nbn significantly grows our engagement in innovative, digital transformation for the whole country.”

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