The NSW Government’s new Connectivity Innovation Network (CIN) has awarded $500,000 in grant funding for pilot projects aimed at solving critical connectivity challenges for emergency services and remote communities.
The CIN brings together academia, government and industry to share and envision technology solutions through collaboration and partnership. Developed by the NSW Telco Authority and led by the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Sydney, the network focuses on finding innovative research solutions to statewide connectivity challenges.
NSW Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello said two projects will be piloted — one will develop a secure platform for data sharing between government agencies and the other will provide a rapidly deployable Wi-Fi network for seamless connectivity across large remote large areas.
“Digital connectivity is essential to everyday life and the collaboration created through the CIN will deliver innovative solutions for emergency services, agencies and the community,” Dominello said.
“The funding will enable University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and University of Sydney (USYD) in partnerships with local industry and government agencies to leverage their resources, skills and knowledge to create ground-breaking solutions that will drive the future of connectivity.
“These projects focus on addressing two significant connectivity challenges that are vital to the growth and resilience of regional and remote communities in NSW.”
UTS and the Australian Data Exchange will develop and test a secure platform for trusted and privacy-preserving communal data sharing between government agencies and emergency services. Dominello said project success could change the way these groups experienced access and use of historical and real-time data such as incident videos, which emergency organisations could use to assist with real-time and efficient decision-making and the allocation of resources.
“Based on advanced technologies such as blockchain, this project aims to create a common platform for trusted data sharing between different organisations while maintaining security and privacy,” he said.
The second funded project will see a partnership between USYD, UTS, Pivotel Pty Ltd and NBN Co to develop and trial an innovative solution for large-scale Wi-Fi deployment across regional NSW. The project will tackle one of Australia’s most challenging issues of poor digital connectivity across a large and remote geographical area, especially in times of emergencies.
“This funding enables us to develop a solution for the rapid deployment of a Wi-Fi network that delivers seamless connectivity for remote public broadband in practical outdoor scenarios,” Dominello said.
“We are focused on using smarter technology to create ubiquitous connectivity that can deliver real benefits to businesses and the community.”
The CIN will host project demonstrations from six months to execution to showcase project progress.