KEi Launches at AIIA Internet of Things Summit in Canberra

“Instead of mining minerals we’ll be mining data – and the rewards are 
potentially just as great.” (KEi Founding CEO Dr Mike Briers)

Leading Australian data innovators and universities have joined with international giants Bosch and Cisco to put Australia at the forefront of the rapidly growing global digital economy.

Led by Sydney-based data analytics provider Sirca, they've created the new Knowledge Economy Institute (KEi) to help business, government and researchers solve complex problems, increase competitiveness and create jobs. 

The KEi was launched today at an Australian Information Industry Association conference in Canberra by Paul Fletcher, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull.

“The KEi will help harness the transformative power of data and digital technology to allow people to make better decisions based on cutting-edge research and real-time information”, Paul Fletcher said.

KEi's Founding CEO, Dr Michael Briers

Founding CEO Dr Mike Briers said that with the end of the mining boom, it’s vital Australia moves quickly to catch the next wave of data-driven innovation that will drive the future economy.

“Instead of mining minerals, we’ll be mining data – and the rewards are potentially just as great as during the mining boom,” Dr Briers said. 

“The possibilities are endless. Across Australia data research is already:

  • finding better ways to treat cancer;
  • regulating financial markets;
  • improving efficiency in freight and logistics; and
  • boosting both productivity and sustainability in agriculture.

By 2020 there will be 25 billion ‘things’ connected to the Internet – from cars and mobiles to fridges and tractors - generating unprecedented amounts of data and allowing us to see patterns and relationship that were previously invisible.

“Using that data to solve problems and create new jobs will be the one of the foundations of the global economy. Cisco estimates that this is a $19 trillion dollar global opportunity with Australia set to capture $74 billion of that value.

“Within five years, the KEi aims to be a $60 million organisation that’s helped to create 100 new commercial applications and start-ups while working with business and universities on data research to boost productivity across Australia.

“By bringing together Australia’s leading universities, researchers and businesses, the KEi will help to ensure that Australia’s next economic boom is based on data, knowledge and innovation as part of the worldwide digital economy,” Dr Briers said.

The founding Chairperson of the KEi is world-renowned digital economy expert Chris Vein. Chris is the former Chief Innovation Officer for the World Bank and deputy Chief Technology Officer in the Obama White House.

“I am delighted to be the founding chair of the KEi. Australia is well-placed through this initiative to be a global leader in digital technology and transformation. Through the KEi Australia has a ground breaking opportunity to  address some of the biggest challenges facing the world today such as feeding the next billion people on the planet and sustainable development ‘ said Chris Vein.

In reinforcing the importance of the KEi at the Australian Information Industry Association’s (AIIA) Navigating the Internet of Things Summit, CEO Suzanne Campbell congratulated Sirca on their visionary initiative. 

“The Internet of Things is not a fad.  The data this technology capability will generate is the basis for significant social and economic benefit and Australia needs to prepare now to ensure we ride this next wave if we are to be competitive in the global digital economy”,  Ms Campbell said.  

The KEi’s founding partners are:

Kevin Bloch, CTO, Cisco said: “Building from our launch of the Cisco IoE Innovation Centre last week at Cisco Live, the KEi initiative will bring into the collaboration the broader Australian research community as well as other commercial and government partners.”

Gavin Smith, President of Robert Bosch Australia said: “The KEi is set to be the next big thing to power Australia's knowledge economy. Bosch is very excited about the prospects for this unique collaboration which builds on Australia's economic and research strengths”.

Founding Partners

Bosch is a leading innovator in the fields of Mobility Solutions, Consumer Goods, Industrial Technology, Energy & Building Technology and is enabling a “connected life” through its IoT software and solutions. 

CISCO is an international leader in networking for the Internet and a pioneer in the development of the Internet of Things, and specialises in designing, manufacturing and selling networking equipment. Cisco recently announced its Internet of Everything Innovation Centre in partnership with Sirca.

Sirca was establish in 1997, and is owned by Australia and New Zealand's 40 university members. Through its successful commercial arm Rozetta Technology - collects and analyses over two million financial transactions a second from every stock exchange in the world. It sells data services to over 600 global financial clients in partnership with Thompson Reuters. Regulators around the world also use Sirca’s service to detect insider trading and protect the integrity of financial markets. Sirca's data bases fuel world-leading research and been used as the primary data source in over 1,300 scholarly publications.

Founding Research Partners

Curtin University has a strong focus on international collaboration and are experts in mineral & gas resources research and astronomy. Curtain is a foundation partner in the Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope initiative.

University of Tasmania - Australia's fourth oldest university is a world leader in Antarctic, climate, marine and agricultural research, and home to the innovative Sense-T program. Sense-T is helping to build an economy-wide sensor network and data resource, creating a digital view of Tasmania and giving business, governments and communities the tools to make better decisions and solve practical problems.