Swinburne University of Technology has launched a Data for Social Good Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC) backed by Amazon Web Services.
The centre – which is located in Swinburne’s Innovation Precinct, a redeveloped fire station at its Hawthorn campus – will focus primarily on health, social innovation, and smart cities.
It will be a place for staff and students to collaborate with industry, solve innovation challenges, and produce commercial outcomes, Swinburne said. It is hoped there will be 20 to 30 student led projects running in the centre at any one time, resulting in up to 10 start-ups per year.
The CIC will leverage the capabilities of the university’s Data Science Research Institute, Health Innovation Research Institute and Social Innovation Research Institute.
Some projects already underway include a data-based solution for the management of chronic diseases such as diabetes and data mapping of urban environments, so authorities and communities can make strategic decisions about improvements in business innovation, education, and health services.
“With proven AWS innovation philosophies, and intensive training provided for Swinburne’s teams, we will develop digital solutions, products, and services that will be made publicly available to benefit Australians,” says Professor Aleksandar Subic, Swinburne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for research and development.
AWS will provide training to students and staff; promotional credits which can be used to offset the cost incurred; and support. The cloud giant has also hired a digital innovation lead embedded on campus to act as a conduit between Swinburne and AWS.
“We look at this program with a very long term view, it is a public private partnership and we want to enable our customers to be more innovative in the way that they go about solving public sector challenges,” said Vincent Quah, AWS’ APAC regional head for education, research, and not-for-profit.
“The cloud is really something that everybody’s consuming already, it’s in our everyday lives, but it’s not yet creating that social impact. How do we bring that to as many people as possible?” he added.
The Swinburne CIC is the seventh AWS-backed centre of its kind globally, and the first in the Southern Hemisphere. Others include the California Polytechnic University Digital Transformation Hub; the Busan-Amazon CIC in Busan, Korea; SciencesPo Public Innovation Lab in Paris, France; the Arizona State University Smart City CIC, and the recently launched Munich University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) Digital Transformation Lab and CODE University of Applied Sciences Better Future Lab in Berlin, Germany.
“Swinburne is excited to work with AWS on this ambitious venture,” Subic said.
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