Driving digital innovation

La Trobe University was a driving force at the Digital Summit in Bendigo, showcasing the Digital Innovation Hub's capabilities and facilities.

La Trobe University was a driving force at the recent Digital Summit in Bendigo. As a gold sponsor, the university showcased its digital and innovation collaborations, and contributions towards advancements within the Loddon Mallee region.

“Sponsoring the Digital Summit and ensuring broad representation of staff as participants is integral to our campus and our community. Symbolically and practically, these partnerships provide an opportunity for La Trobe to learn about government and industry needs, identify opportunities, and share the work that we are doing in this space across research, teaching, work integrated learning and business support like start-up and accelerator programs," said Julie Rudner, La Trobe University Bendigo Campus Director.

Held over two days in The Capital Theatre, the summit mission was to trigger new initiatives and future investments in digital infrastructure, skills development and capabilities in the local area. As part of the itinerary, attendees learnt from industry experts as they shared case studies and explored key technologies to improve citizen services. There was also an opportunity to network with the over 300 fellow attendees including representatives from federal, state and local government.

La Trobe showcased its Digital Innovation Hub, with interactive HoloLens and drone demonstrations. Digital Innovation Hub Manager Jeff Jones, Business Development and Commercialisation Manager Andrew Quek, Precinct Coordinator Olga Minchin and Digital Innovation Hub student intern, Jolene Mathews were on hand to provide more information about the hub’s capabilities and facilities.

"Significantly, these events allow us to highlight that we are one University, with many campuses, that supports our partners to access expertise, a future workforce, and develop opportunities, wherever they area located. The balance between intellectual and commercial mobility and placed-based infrastructure in multiple sites across metro and regional Victoria is a unique value proposition we can offer to our partners," said Ms Rudner.

University thought leaders also joined in the Digital Summit break-out sessions.

Professor Naveen Chilamkurti took part in the Future Digital conversation. As Head of Cybersecurity Discipline and Director La Trobe Cybersecurity Research Hub, he is a leading expert and spoke on the topic of Future Digital: A New Era of Risk. The focus was the risks and challenges that come with enhanced data access and sharing. Additionally, the cybersecurity and data privacy frameworks, policies, and practices needed to build trust and public confidence in critical digital technologies.

Dr Leanne Ngo, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Online Programs within the School of Computer Sciences, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at La Trobe University, shared her knowledge in a breakout session focused on upskilling the future workforce. Learn, Unlearn, and Relearn: A Toolkit for the Future Workforce centred on advancements in AI, IoT and big data – and how they are reshaping the relationship between technology and employment. The session explored new approaches to education, skill-building, and training, as well as the rising demand for digital literacy, STEM, Industry4.0, and enterprise and entrepreneurial skills.

Louise Dalton, Acting Director for Tech Schools branch in the Department of Education, also sat on the panel. This ensured Bendigo Tech School was represented – the school is a La Trobe University and Department of Education initiative providing secondary school students from the Bendigo area access to the latest tech to explore and discover new digital literacy skills in advanced manufacturing, IoT, robot coding and more.

Presented by Regional Development Australia Loddon Mallee, Regional Development Victoria, Public Sector Network and Delos Delta, the Digital Summit was an innovative and informative event. It successfully showcased the endless possibilities and opportunities for the Loddon Mallee region – and beyond.

Useful information

La Trobe University Digital Innovation Hub