Cisco and Optus have partnered with Curtin University and La Trobe University to form an innovation initiative.
Called the National Industry Innovation Network (NIIN), the initiative aims to improve digital economic resilience and transformation in Australia by developing a model for industry and academia to collaborate in addressing industry challenges and long-term interests.
The NIIN will pool resources like research chairs, innovation centres, supply chains, partner networks and specialist expertise together to solve both short-term and long-term challenges.
Cisco ANZ vice president Ken Boal said the ultimate aim of NIIN is to make Australia and Australian industry more adaptive and resilient.
“We can take the learnings out of the recent surge in the adoption of collaboration technologies that have enabled remote working, and build on the capability and productivity that’s been realised, to support a more resilient digital economy and society,” he said.
Optus Business managing director Chris Mitchell said, “Australia faces immense health and economic challenges and no single company or university has all the answers. In combining our technology, expertise and networks, we can create a greater impact together.”
“It is in Australia’s interest to provide governments, peak bodies and industry with the information necessary to make informed decisions on security, privacy, scalability and usability,” he added.
One of NIIN’s first projects will be a white paper on the role of collaborative technology in remote working, with a specific focus on government, health and education sectors. The resulting paper is expected to provide a framework to help users better understand and evaluate the adoption and application of these technologies in different use cases.
Curtin University vice-chancellor Deborah Terry emphasised the importance of universities and industry working together.
“We have demonstrated that sharing our resources and expertise brings great value to our communities and our economy. We are proud to partner with Cisco, Optus and La Trobe to take a leading role in finding new ways to solve industry problems and address national challenges,” she said.
La Trobe University vice-chancellor John Dewar welcomed the partnership as an important step to support innovation and job-creating economic activity.
“I welcome this new alliance as an important development in bringing industry and universities to work together to support economic recovery and digital transformation. This is an exciting new development with the potential to change the way we think about collaborations between universities and industry for the benefit of the nation,” he said.