The NSW Government has announced that the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the University of Sydney will lead the establishment of the state’s Connectivity Innovation Network.
Developed by NSW Telco Authority in consultation with the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, the network will bring together researchers, industry and government agencies to solve connectivity challenges and deliver improved outcomes for citizens.
NSW Telco Authority Managing Director Kylie De Courteney said the network would promote greater collaboration and foster innovation to adapt to connectivity challenges.
“The Connectivity Innovation Network will connect NSW Government agencies to specialists in our universities, research institutes and industry who have the skills and expertise to solve connectivity challenges,” Ms De Courteney said.
“Led by UTS and the University of Sydney, the network will focus on finding innovative research solutions to statewide connectivity challenges such as power resilience, ubiquitous connectivity, sensors, network and cyber automation.
“Delivering improved connectivity has the potential to reduce the digital divide for regional and remote citizens and businesses and provide emergency services organisations with critical communications across the state.”
NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte welcomed the announcement.
“The Connectivity Innovation Network joins the NSW Smart Sensing Network, Defence Innovation Network, NSW Circular and the NSW Space Research Network as the latest NSW Government initiative driving collaboration between research, government and industry to solve real-world problems,” Professor Durrant-Whyte said.
“Addressing connectivity challenges will bring benefits across NSW and collaboration between its members will enhance access to best practice solutions across government.”
UTS Industry Professor and Connectivity Innovation Network Co-Director Ian Oppermann said the Connectivity Innovation Network would bring together national and globally recognised expertise in the connectivity space.
“I am delighted that UTS will be jointly leading the Connectivity Innovation Network. UTS and the University of Sydney have the most comprehensive, globally recognised expertise across all areas of telecommunications in Australia,” Mr Oppermann said.
“Given the location of both institutions in Tech Central, the Connectivity Innovation Network will have its roots within one of the NSW Government’s lighthouse precincts, meaning close proximity to existing collaborations between government, industry and research institutions.”
NSW Telco Authority (NSWTA) is responsible for the Public Safety Network (PSN).
Next to Australia’s triple zero emergency hotline, the PSN is the most important critical communications network in NSW, and one of the largest of its type in the world. The agency also coordinates and aligns whole-of-government connectivity programs and priorities to provide better mobile coverage and drive improved connectivity outcomes for the state.
The appointment of UTS and the University of Sydney to jointly lead the network would be followed a Request for Proposal conducted in 2021.