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NBN partners with two leading universities in hunt for new tech

The National Broadband Network (NBN) has announced two collaborative Research and Development (R&D) relationships with the University of Melbourne (UoM) and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), in an effort to develop new technology. 

The two new deals are set to initially last three years and are worth approximately $1.5 million each ($3 million in total).

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, NBN expects the agreements to cover additional opportunities for collaboration such as post-doctoral research opportunities and student exchanges.

The company says the new relationships will drive a collaborative effort to adapt new ideas and translate innovation into a commercial reality, in line with its mission to continually develop new, more efficient technologies.

NBN chief technology officer Ray Owen says, “These two new relationships will help NBN 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.”

NBN says in helping to bring new technologies to the market, the new deals will ultimately aid in improving the end-user experience of users. 

It also says allowing UTS and UoM to access NBN’s technical resources will serve to benefit the universities and their students, as they will gain access to real-world telecoms network operational data.

University of Melbourne pro-vice chancellor (research collaboration and partnerships) Mark Hargreaves, says, “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.”

UTS dean of the faculty of engineering and IT Ian Burnett adds, “This collaborative relationship with NBN Co significantly grows our engagement in innovative, digital transformation for the whole country.”

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