Australia's innovative IoT Hub.

The Knowledge Economy Institute (KEi), is an innovative Internet of Things (IoT) hub dedicated to harnessing the transformative power of digital technology to solve the biggest challenges facing Australia and the world today. It brings together business, researchers, government and civil society in one single focussed effort. Its national centre is hosted by the University of Technology Sydney.

The KEi gathers a key asset – our data – makes it more useable and then, with the help of powerful tools and careful privacy protection, brings the possibility of unparalleled innovation and growth.

The digital revolution is making it possible to know things that were previously hidden from us.  We can now see patterns, connections and interdependencies that will allow us to solve complex problems, make better decisions and monitor impacts in real-time. The possibilities are endless. We can use data to see the connection between air pollution, hospital admissions for kids with asthma, and school attendance rates. Or we could combine data from tractors applying fertilisers, with weather data and understand run-off patterns that affects the food safety of our aquaculture products. We can use data to predict patterns and take action to save money and improve products and services. 

To take advantage of the digital revolution, Australia needs to develop new products, new services and business models. We also need to make sure that everyone can participate in this transformation. This is where the KEi comes in. Our purpose is to bring the power of digital technology and big data to all so that together we can solve complex problems through collaboration and innovation.


Why are we creating the KEi?

We want  to create a knowledge infrastructure - shared with all - which will be the foundation for Australia’s future well-being.

Australia is one of the wealthiest countries on the planet. Our people enjoy education, health and income levels that are the envy of the world. In the past this wealth has been driven by our natural resources. But our economy is now in transition. The resource boom which has driven our economy for the past decade is slowing and productivity growth has stagnated for over a decade.

At the same time there is a digital revolution where the Internet of Things (IoT) is the new frontier. Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30 percent from 2014, and will reach 25 billion by 2020 creating $263 billion in service spending. If we can combine our technology capability with our strengths in key sectors, we can improve our competitiveness and create new high-skilled jobs and exports.

Australia’s transition to a knowledge economy is held back by fragmented and duplicated effort. In 2014 government spent more than $9 billion on research and industry spent a further $11 billion. Imagine if all those researchers and businesses did not have to collect new data every time they had a new question, that data services were easy to use and that entrepreneurs could build businesses on a shared platform.

Sirca has done this for global financial markets. We now want to bring that capability to the whole Australian economy. That is why we are creating the KEi. We want to build Australia’s knowledge infrastructure of the future so we can all have a better future. 



Who benefits from the KEi and how?

Business will improve productivity and launch new enterprises through:

  • Easier access to Australia’s data science talent to work on business challenges.
  • Having a trusted intermediary to make data available to researchers for insights.
  • Access to partners and their commercial-grade IoT technology to enable new business models and start-ups.

Government benefits through:

  • Having a key service to stimulate digital innovation driving productivity, exports and jobs.

  • Saving money by having one national institute providing a professional platform and data services to all universities and research organisations.

  • Creating greater research impact with a systematic way of getting research out of the lab and into business.

Research organisations will improve research outcomes and impact through:

  • Access to rich data sets at lower costs.
  • Professional data services and support.
  • Greater opportunities to work with industry solving real problems.
  • More opportunities to commercialise and demonstrate impact.



The KEI has the conditions for success. It has a highly experienced leadership team with proven track records in digital innovation. It was established by Sirca which is the only Australian shared research initiative that provides cutting edge global digital services and is self-sustaining. It has global technology partners with deep capability and global market reach.