La Trobe brings Cisco on campus

La Trobe University joins forces with leading global technology company Cisco to drive technology innovation, and to position and prepare students for industry-ready and digital skills required in the knowledge economy that help to solve real-world industry problems.

The partnership includes:

  • A new position of a Cisco Chair of the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Establishing La Trobe University with a Cisco Co-innovation Centre presence
  • Access for educators and students to Cisco’s Digital Schools Network
  • Incorporation of Networking Academy module of IoT, cybersecurity and entrepreneurship into La Trobe courses.

La Trobe and Cisco have signed a new agreement to collaborate on technology innovation with a focus on IoT, and to also showcase what is possible in research and learning through a range of education initiatives, as signed in Melbourne, Australia today (10 September 2019).

The agreement will see the creation of a new Cisco Chair of the Internet of Things and a Co-Innovation Centre presence at the University, bringing together researchers and industry to facilitate collaboration and create opportunities to solve real world problems, through technology innovation.

The partnership also offers La Trobe access to Cisco’s best in class global programs such as its Networking Academy modules with IoT, cybersecurity and entrepreneurship, and access to the Digital Schools Network to share resources and connections.

Ultimately, the partnership will help to create opportunities for students and academia, with a new home for co-innovation and collaboration, enabled by access to world leading programs that spark creativity and connection to deliver ideas that will propel Australia’s digital future.

La Trobe University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said the new partnership with Cisco will have a profound impact on the University’s students, researchers and partners, as well as the broader community.

“Partnering with Cisco unlocks a rich world-wide network of best-practice, innovation, creativity and experience,” Professor Dewar said.

“It is fundamental to the evolving role of a modern university that researchers and teachers work closely with industry to address shared challenges. This is exactly what the new partnership will deliver, and I am delighted that our two institutions, with complementary strengths and interests, have agreed to forge stronger connections for the benefit of our respective communities.”

Cisco’s Vice President of Australia and New Zealand, Ken Boal, shared how Cisco’s partnership with La Trobe is part of its recently announced Country Digital Acceleration investment in Australia.

“By teaming with La Trobe University we’re supporting the development of industry ready skills that are required, today. The Internet of Things presents new research and innovation opportunities and will transform industries right across the globe. The Chair of IoT combined with the world class co-innovation capability, further our collaborative approach to innovative teaching and learning and open up the door for world leading research.”

The partnership with La Trobe builds on Cisco’s ongoing commitment to innovation and research in Australia and expands the Co-Innovation Centre footprint. There is currently an Innovation Central in Sydney, and in Perth.

"At Cisco we believe that industry has a key role in collaborating with the education sector to ensure the latest thinking and insights are shared and developed into the curriculum, as well as furthering research. Cisco is actively leading this effort by accelerating investment in education with a focus on digital skills and technology. This exciting partnership supports the upskilling of students in technology areas that are needed now, and critical for Australia's long-term competitiveness," Mr Boal said.

Further details on the agreement

Under the agreement announced in the Victorian Parliament, La Trobe and Cisco will collaborate on a wide range of cross cutting initiatives, including:

  • Introducing a position for the Cisco Chair of Internet of Things (IoT). A co-funded Chair will enable the appointment of an internationally acknowledged leader in teaching and research to provide academic leadership and to teach IoT at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The appointment will lead innovative and high impact research, including fostering and maintaining a network of academics at La Trobe with Cisco industry partners and clients to inform solutions to real-world problems in the field of IoT.
  • Establishing La Trobe University with a Cisco Co-innovation Centre presence, which will offer unique access to world-class tools and global networks for Victorian small-to-medium enterprises and large corporates in search of innovative solutions to real-world business problems. Researchers will collaborate with business to understand how to best utilise technology and research to achieve efficiencies, create new innovative opportunities and solve industry problems in areas that may include agriculture technology, smart cities and IoT. The Co-Innovation Centre presence at La Trobe University will offer unique access to Cisco's global innovation network and brings together a diverse partner ecosystem to co-innovate new solutions for today.
  • Access for educators and students to Cisco’s Digital Schools Network – enabling local educators and students to digitally connect with their peers locally and around the world. The Network enables the safe sharing of lessons and resources, provides access to live virtual excursions and creates a space to collaborate on a range of digital learning activities and is powered by Cisco Webex. Participating schools will gain access to tailored content, designed by La Trobe’s extensive network of talent and expertise. This opens up new possibilities to students and is designed to help transition students from K12 to Higher Education, so they have an understanding of this transition before they leave high school.
  • Innovative teaching and learning through a partnered approach – collaborating on research and design of innovative teaching and learning environments as exemplars for Smart Classrooms and delivery of new modules of the Cisco Networking Academy program, focusing on IoT, cyber security and entrepreneurship, within La Trobe programs.  This will provide best practices to improve learning environments, ensure better student and teacher engagements in tutorials and lectures. It will also allow teachers to communicate across campus using Cisco technology in an engaging way to ensure student participation and collaboration.


Background information

Internet of Things - 500 billion devices are expected to be connected to the Internet by 2030, each device includes sensors that collect data, interact with the environment, and communicate over a network. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of these connected devices. These smart, connected devices generate data that IoT applications use to aggregate, analyse, and deliver insight, which helps drive more informed decisions and actions

Media Contacts

Claire Bowers, +61 437 279 903,

Cori Drogemuller, +61 407 518 303,

La Trobe University is one of Australia’s leading digital technology education and research institutions, with education solutions in cybersecurity, internet-of-things, law tech and ethics, artificial intelligence and big data. Research projects and expertise include data analytics, autonomous vehicles, sensor technology, cyber defence and aerospace technologies.

Cisco is the worldwide technology leader that has been making the Internet work since 1984. Our people, products, and partners help society securely connect and seize tomorrow's digital opportunity today. Our digital-ready solutions are enabling Australian business of all sizes to fully realise the benefits of digital transformation – disrupting industries and reimagining what’s possible for their business.