Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus will house Australia’s first demonstration and application centre – called MindSphere – a cloud-based Industrial Internet of Things operating system, developed by global technology giant Siemens.
Located in Swinburne’s Factory of the Future, the centre will enable students, academics and industry partners to collaborate and co-create local and global projects on the cloud-based platform.
The first industry and university MindSphere partnership in Australia is an extension of the $135 million software grant by Siemens to Swinburne in 2017.
Eight industry partners have signed an agreement with Siemens to become MindSphere Foundation Partners in Australia. They are: Alliance Automation, Globetech, NZ Controls, Centric PA, Spectrum Automation, Nukon, Interlate and Mescada.
Speaking at the launch Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Development), Professor Aleksandar Subic, said the centre would provide an environment for industry and students to co-create, develop and demonstrate the capabilities and outcomes made possible using MindSphere.
“The centre will facilitate the creation of applications in advanced manufacturing, smart cities and transport, health and other areas. This is an important stage in the implementation of our Industry 4.0 Strategy,” he said.
“Students across the entire education and training continuum, from apprenticeships across bachelor and master programs and all the way to PhD research, will be developing and using this technology for different industrial applications as part of their learning in collaboration with industry.
“This centre will provide a showcase and active demonstration of the capabilities and outcomes possible using global technology platforms,” Professor Subic said.
Unique engagement model
MindSphere is unique in its industry and business engagement model in the tertiary sector – opening the campus to industry and business for co-creation, while facilitating education, training and research.
Students, academics and industry will have access to cloud-based software that has already helped organisations across the world connect their products, plants, systems and machines to harness the wealth of their data generated by the Internet of Things with advanced analytics.
Speaking at the launch, Siemens Australia Chairman and CEO Jeff Connolly said, “Data is being described as the oil of the 21st century. Ninety per cent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years and 5.5 million new ‘things’ get connected every day.”
Mr Connolly said being able to refine that data and turn it into usable business information requires sophisticated platforms to simplify and enable the process.
“It also requires skilled people coming through the system – which is what this facility and the partnership is all about,” he said.
Professor Subic said the centre would demonstrate in action the value of partnerships between industry and the education sector by driving innovation and positive transformation.
“The access to MindSphere at our Factory of the Future will help demonstrate the Industry 4.0 facility as a whole – a fully integrated, connected and fully operational learning factory – the first of its kind in Australia and this part of the world.”
Find out more about Industry 4.0 at Swinburne.