New research institute will mine opportunity from digital’s boundary-crossing complexity

Photo by  Steve Jurvetson

Photo by Steve Jurvetson

In summary: 
  • UTS will be home to a new research institute seeking new discoveries in the use of data via the so-called 'Internet of Things'
  • The work of the institute will be highly collabrative across education, industry and government

A new UTS research institute enabling agile and unusual research collaborations will seek novel breakthroughs in data use and new products by exploiting technology's blurring and break-up of age-old silos in industry and the professions.

Based with the Faculty of Engineering and IT, the Knowledge Economy Institute (KEi) will work collaboratively with leading innovation consortia, including SIRCA and the Communications Alliance Internet of Things (IoT) Think Tank.

Former SIRCA CEO Mike Briers will lead the KEi as UTS's first industry professor. He brings vast experience and insight gained at SIRCA, itself a collaboration of more than 35 universities, mainly in Australia and New Zealand, developing global data and advanced tools for financial research and innovation.

Working in the online realm, now dubbed the 'Internet of Things', the institute's researchers will focus on utilising the vast and varied array of data collected globally to develop useful new financial models, products and even processes of value to industry and other sectors.

The KEi was announced today in conjunction with a federal ministerial launch of a major new research report produced by the Communications Alliance Internet of Things Think Tank.  

The report Enabling the Internet of Things for Australia, launched by the Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects, the Hon. Paul Fletcher, outlines a pathway for Australia to harness data better and drive innovation. The new UTS institute will be a key hub for research in this regard.

The report makes 12 recommendations for regulatory and policy changes, combined with industry initiatives. It warns that although Australia's IoT capabilities are good, government and industry failure to adequately focus on and respond to emerging opportunities in IoT will put at risk more than $116 billion for the Australian economy by 2025.

UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs said the digital revolution is making it possible to know things that were previously hidden and see patterns, connections and interdependencies that make complex problem solving easier and better decision making possible.

"The UTS Knowledge Economy Institute will explore how the transformative power of digital technology can be harnessed to solve the biggest challenges facing Australia and the world today," Professor Brungs said.

"To compete globally, with much bigger contenders, and to protect and grow our economy as the resources boom declines, Australia must fight to be a leading knowledge economy, be an agile innovator and have the courage to take risks.

"This is why UTS has invested $2million in establishing the Institute and appointed Mike Briers with his invaluable academic expertise and industry knowledge and connections to be its leader.

"Cross collaboration – across disciplines, across industries and in partnership with varied communities will be key to future breakthroughs in innovation. This will be the context from which the Knowledge Economy Institute will operate – for the benefit of society."