Telstra, Wollongong uni put up hub for AIOT solutions

The University of Wollongong in Australia is working with Telstra, Microsoft and NVIDIA to position the Illawarra coastal region in New South Wales as a global leader in the uptake and creation of the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIOT).

The university’s SMART Infrastructure Facility will establish the Telstra-UOW Hub for AIOT Solutions, delivering innovative, cost-effective and fit-for-purpose AIOT solutions for communities, enterprises and governments.

The Telstra-UOW Hub will be developed through the support of a $1.7-million federal government grant via the Strategic University Reform Fund (SURF). It will give Australia international traction while using applied research to increase productivity and create jobs.

The Hub’s focus will be research in several AIOT technologies, including AI-enabled video analytics, sensor-embedded edge computing for optimised data fusion and transmission, as well as industrial digital twin technology.

Once established, the Telstra-UOW Hub intends to improve the adoption of AIOT technologies by Illawarra industries, attracting and retaining a skilled workforce in AI and IoT technologies.

The Hub will develop a regional ecosystem of innovative small to medium enterprises focused on AIOT products and services, and ensure greater sovereignty of Australia in sensitive sectors such as AI and IoT technologies.

Four initial pilot projects have been identified for immediate design and testing of AIOT solutions with 10 projects expected to be supported during the initial two years of the collaboration. The AIOT Solutions will be supported by cellular LPWAN (NB-IOT) or LTE/5G technologies as well as cloud computing such as Microsoft Azure.

The four projects will focus on intelligent manufacturing, smart transport, smart logistics and resilient infrastructure, which will be tested at scale with the support of key end-users such as Bluescope Steel, Premier Illawarra, Remondis, and Wollongong City Council.

UOW vice-chancellor Patricia M. Davidson said the SURF grant would cover the development of the Telstra-UOW Hub, which will connect a task force of 30 AIOT experts from industry and academia.

SMART Infrastructure Facility director Pascal Perez said the Telstra-UOW Hub would help Australia access an AIOT market estimated to reach US$26.2 billion by 2023.

“The hub provides the Illawarra and Australia with a unique chance to move from early adopters to leading innovators in the AIOT space,” said Perez.