Optus & La Trobe tech-collaboration

La Trobe University and Optus Business have announced a strategic alliance designed to deliver an integrated, digitally connected campus; a state-of-the-art Sports Precinct of the Future; and creation of a market leading Cyber Security tertiary degree.

John Paitaridis, Optus Business Managing Director said, “Today’s announcement responds to two critical challenges facing organisations; one is the importance of data analytics and cyber security in Australia’s future in the digital world; the other is the need for industry, government and academia to collaborate in order to ideate, co-create and innovate.

“Optus will bring the technology and commercial expertise that complements La Trobe’s exceptional research and education credentials, creating an exemplar for a partnership between industry and academia in Victoria.”

Professor John Dewar, La Trobe Vice-Chancellor said, “Our collaboration with Optus will position La Trobe University as one of the most technologically innovative and industry-connected campuses anywhere in Australia.”

Launching the partnership, The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MP, Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade said, "It is great to see Optus partner with one of Victoria's top educational institutions, La Trobe University, to take advantage of what we have to offer here in creating the high-skill jobs of the future."

"Victoria is Australia's undisputed tech leader with more tech graduates than any other state across the country. With huge investments in Victoria's cyber and data security capabilities over the past 12 months alone, we are also at the forefront of Australia's expertise in this space."

The alliance will build on the strengths of both organisations to address significant global challenges such as smart cities, cyber security and the application of big data analytics. Initially, the focus is on:

Digital University of the Future - combining a smart cities and ‘living lab’ approach to La Trobe’s ambitious plan to develop a global exemplar of a digitally connected city of the future, commencing with a focus on campus security, people movement, way-finding and parking.

Sports Park – embedding data collection and analytics technology in La Trobe’s $150 million Sport Park development, designed to focus on data collection and analytics for research in sport performance, rehabilitation and community/fan engagement which will leverage sports partnerships of both organisations.

Cyber Security – co-development with other industry partners of unique multi-disciplinary courses, providing academic and research leadership, and creating scholarships, work integrated learning and employment pathways for La Trobe graduates.

“La Trobe University and Optus Business have a shared commitment to STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics] and building the skills of the future for the knowledge economy,” said Mr Paitaridis.

“It’s important that we make STEM relatable to students through showcasing rewarding and in-demand careers.”

A Chair of Cyber Security will be based at La Trobe University to provide world class leadership for research and teaching, and advice and solutions to real-world Cyber Security issues for educational institutions, government departments and agencies, and enterprise organisations.

Mr Paitaridis said both organisations understand the necessity to collaborate to create meaningful pathways to employment, including the growth opportunity presented by data analytics and cyber security.

Professor Dewar concurred, “Both Optus and La Trobe University share a commitment to innovation and the co-creation of ideas from research through to commercialisation.”

“This technology driven partnership will become the engine room for economic development in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. Working together, we will demonstrate how universities and industry can drive innovation and the transformation needed for the emerging knowledge economy and the jobs of the future,” he said.

Key facts:

  • Multi-million dollar innovation fund designed to support a Digital University of the Future
  • Technology and innovation program for $150 million sports park
  • Focus on Cyber to deliver multi-disciplinary education courses, scholarships, and University Chair of Cyber Security.

Media: Tim Mitchell 0437 457 780

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