Cisco teams with Flinders for Adelaide tech innovation hub

04 April 2022 2 min. read
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Flinders University has launched a new technology innovation centre in Adelaide in partnership with US technology firm Cisco. The new hub joins a national network, and will focus on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises.

Based at Flinders’ new Digital Transformation Laboratory in the Tonsley Innovation District, the centre extends an existing digital health collaboration between the two parties, and becomes part of a network of specialised innovation centres across four states.

Dubbed “Innovation Central Adelaide”, the new hub will bring together industry and researchers in an effort to solve real-world business problems through potential applications in cutting-edge design processes, rapid prototyping, simulation, and high tech visualisation.

Cisco teams with Flinders for Adelaide tech innovation hub

The facility will also run experiments in robotics and automation, with initial trials in a number of areas including industrial networking, security, and sensor solutions.

John Spoehr, Flinders’ Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research Impact, described the venture as providing a “high-tech treasure chest” to local companies, one which would turbo-charge students’ real-world learning. “We have companies champing at the bit to do better, but they lack capacity,” Spoehr said. “Innovation Central Adelaide gives them that capacity, supporting them to apply technologies that would otherwise be beyond their reach.”

As part of the partnership, Flinders will join the National Industry Innovation Network, a Cisco-led industry and university alliance co-funded through the firm’s $61 million Country Digital Acceleration program aimed at advancing Australia’s digital capabilities in nationally-significant industries.

La Trobe, Curtin, and University of New South Wales are also network members, along with the recently launched centre through the University of Queensland.

“The partnership between Flinders and Cisco expands the footprint of Innovation Centrals in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane,” said Colin Stirling, the president of Flinders University, which is ranked within the top two dozen academic institutes in Australia. “It further reinforces the world-class expertise that Flinders researchers are contributing to the evolution of advanced manufacturing in South Australia, supporting jobs and the economy.”

Ben Dawson, Cisco’s vice president for A/NZ, said that the company’s investment was part of its collaborative approach to innovative teaching and learning and would open the door to world-leading research. “At Cisco, we believe that industry has a key role collaborating with the education sector to ensure the latest thinking and insights are shared and developed into the curriculum, as well as furthering research and innovation to grow industry capabilities.”