La Trobe University campuses to become futuristic mini-cities with Optus partnership

La Trobe vice-chancellor Professor John Dewar expects a five-fold increase in demand for cyber security employees in coming years. Photo: La Trobe University Optus business manager John Paitaridis says the firm will even hire graduates directly from the cyber security course at La Trobe University. Photo: Louise Kennerley
Nanjing Night Net

Demand for skilled cyber security experts is expected to increase in coming years. Photo: Brian A Jackson

La Trobe University campuses and its students will be test beds for futuristic parking, safety and traffic technology, as part for an $8 million partnership with Optus.

The telco will also be involved in the new Sports Park and is a key partner is La Trobe’s new cyber security courses.

Both parties are tipping in about $4 million each and are hoping to discover major technological breakthroughs for future commercial use.

For  example, the new high-tech sports park at the Bundoora campus will be kitted out with WiFi, LTE mobile and network infrastructure to help with data collection and analytics for research in sport performance, rehabilitation and fan engagement. La Trobe already has partnerships with Melbourne City soccer club and Carlton Football Club.

There will be a five-fold increase in demand for cyber security employees in coming years, according to La Trobe’s vice-chancellor, John Dewar.

Optus and La Trobe will use the university’s campus in Bundoora to test technology and see if it can be commercialised. The relationship has a governance framework to help resolve any disputes over who owns the intellectual property for successful technology, Professor Dewar added.

“Our campus is like a large town,” Professor Dewar said. “The sort of technology that we will be working on with Optus will allow us to keep track of usage and monitor movements of people around the campus so we can optimise use of facilities.”

A new security app will quickly locate students who need help, he added.

From early 2017 La Trobe will start offering six-month, one-year, and two-year courses in cyber security.

Optus’ business manager, John Paitaridis, said it would work closely with students and graduates, even hiring graduates directly from the course.

“We know that there is a skills shortage world wide and here in Australia,” Mr Paitaridis said.

Earlier this year Optus partnered with Macquarie University – which sits across the road from Optus’ main offices in Sydney – to create the Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub. This centre will start taking students in 2017.

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