In Summary

Swinburne University of Technology and Cisco have signed an agreement to collaborate on new research initiatives on the ‘Internet of Everything’.

The partnering was announced today at the STEM Pipeline for the Digital Economy round table event co-hosted by Cisco and the Business/Higher Education Round Table (B/HERT).

Under the agreement, Cisco and Swinburne will pursue new innovative approaches in learning environments that integrate pedagogy, facilities and technology to support increased student participation rates and broader educational objectives.

“Cisco and Swinburne share the common vision of enhancing educational outcomes through the effective use of technology to improve lecture practice, underpin modern facilities development, promote more effective university and system management, and improve student and community engagement in learning,” Swinburne Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Jennelle Kyd said.

“We share a commitment to innovative teaching and to research that focuses on digital frontiers.”

Tim Fawcett, general manager of Government Affairs and Policy for Cisco Australia and New Zealand said if universities are to thrive and prosper in the Digital Economy, the right enablers must be in place. 

“Embracing the power of technology in all aspects of its operations as Swinburne has in its administration, teaching and learning and research is one of the most critical enablers as it provides the platform for innovation. With our commitment to engage in research on the Internet of Everything, Cisco and Swinburne are preparing students to imagine and invent solutions that take advantage of a world where everything is connected,” said Mr Fawcett.

The ‘Internet of Everything’ is defined by Cisco as “bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever.”

This agreement follows a recent arrangement between Swinburne, Cisco and Logicalis Australia to provide intelligent networking, software and services for the university’s project to upgrade its existing campus ICT infrastructure to deliver a next generation platform for simple and effective communication and collaboration across physical and virtual campus and distance-learning environments.

“Using Cisco collaborative solutions we are better enabling research collaborations and making distance learning more meaningful, Professor Kyd said.

For example, researchers based at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus have been able to work collaboratively over many hours with colleagues located 700km away at the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope to fine tune observations on the fly.

“Technology trends at Swinburne have included greatly increased adoption of mobile and tablet devices by students and staff. These require significant bandwidth, increased video chat between students and teachers, and greater demand for high-performance applications,” Professor Kyd said.

“Additionally, the vast majority of our growing student population is participating in hybrid programs with both campus-based and online components, adding to demands on the network and data centre.”

The Business/Higher Education Round Table is a not-for-profit organisation that was established in 1990 to strengthen the relationship between business and higher education.