The University of South Australia (UniSA) and Optus have formed a new strategic alliance to bolster research outcomes in data science and cyber security and train future specialists in those fields.
A new Cyber Security Research and Collaboration hub will be established as part of the joint venture, located in the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre (A3C) at the Lot Fourteen innovation precinct in Adelaide.
The hub is set to bring together industry, Optus customers and partners, academics and students at Lot Fourteen, where Optus and UniSA already support the Living Lab data analytics and machine learning projects led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The alliance also provides for multi-disciplinary courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students, backed by a joint research and innovation fund to develop innovative solutions and attract talent to South Australia.
The Optus and UniSA agreement allows for the annual funding of an Optus scholarship program to support student and PhD enrolment in cyber security and data science related fields of study.
Research and academic development will be led by a new joint Chair of Cyber Security and Data Science and supported by Optus’ cyber security arm, Trustwave.
Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington, deputy vice chancellor of research and innovation at UniSA, said the joint chair will help to spearhead both research and education in the increasingly sophisticated and crucial fields of security and data science.
“This expertise folds perfectly into the capacities being developed in South Australia in defence and security, space and space technologies and in satellite systems,” Hughes-Warrington said in a statement.
“As South Australia grows its base in these industries, there will be increasing demand for the right research expertise and the right graduates to take up significant positions in both research and practice in cybersecurity and aligned positions in data science.
“The Optus-UniSA strategic alliance is an important investment in that future and creating that talent pipeline.”
Deon Liedenberg, added that bringinging experts from different sectors under one roof will be vital to solving complex digital issues.
“We want to apply advances in these fields to make a real difference in people's lives and this joint venture will unlock opportunities and solutions that don't even exist yet,” Liedenberg said.
“Our exciting collaboration will create opportunities to conduct cross-cutting research and a platform for exchange between UniSA, subject experts from Optus, and Optus’ enterprise and government clients and partners.”
“This will ultimately help us assist our customers tap into emerging markets and opportunities across a range of industries and operate more efficiently.”