Victoria’s Minister for Skills and TAFE, Gayle Tierney, has opened La Trobe University’s new Digital Innovation Hub on its Bundoora campus, which effectively consolidates three digital labs into one: the Optus 5G Lab, Cisco Innovation Central Melbourne, and La Trobe’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things.
The Hub was funded by a $9 million investment from the Labor Government, alongside a $2.75 million investment by La Trobe University.
Optus and Cisco also contributed funding to the project, which aims to bring together industry, research and teaching in a single facility. The Hub, the partners said, will give businesses and students the chance to work together to develop and test digital solutions, explore robotics and automated manufacturing, create new product lines and enter new markets.
Work in the Hub will focus on five priority areas: business transformation, building skills and capability, digital agriculture, digital health and clean technology.
Government funding for the new Hub has been allocated from the state’s $350 million Higher Education State Investment Fund, which was set up to support universities with capital works, applied research and research infrastructure projects, boosting productivity and Victoria’s economy as the state emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Victoria is an innovation powerhouse and as international leaders in research and development, our universities play a crucial role in our state’s success,” Minister Tierney said.
“Facilities like La Trobe University’s Digital Innovation Hub give students a chance to test and improve their skills while helping businesses to tackle real-world challenges – this means everyone involved is transforming and growing.”