New York, Beijing, Istanbul… now Adelaide!

04.07.2019
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In another coup for South Australia, the Marshall Liberal Government has entered into an agreement with world-leading University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to collaborate on the development of a Living Lab at Adelaide’s innovation precinct, Lot Fourteen.

MIT Living Labs have already been established in New York, Beijing and Istanbul, meaning South Australia is now well placed to lead the way globally in the analysis of big data.

The Living Lab, enabled by principal partner BankSA and supported by technology partner Optus Business, will bring together the public, private and research sectors, analysing data to determine the most effective ways for South Australia to drive both economic and sustainable population growth.

Its location at Lot Fourteen also means those working in the Living Lab will have unparalleled access to businesses across a range of high-growth and high-tech industries.

Premier Steven Marshall said attracting the collaboration with MIT is another coup for South Australia and bolsters the State’s position as a new hub for entrepreneurship and innovation globally.

“The Living Lab means local researchers will have access to invaluable data to identify how we can drive sustainable population growth, create jobs and strengthen our economy,” said Premier Steven Marshall.

“Furthermore, it will bolster South Australia’s entrepreneurial activity across a range of industries and ensure that this state remains at the forefront of global innovation and enterprise.

“This Australian-first collaboration is a real game changer for South Australia, which helps us build a stronger and more prosperous economy that allows and encourages young people with ideas to stay here and pursue them.”

Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT, Professor Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland said the new technology of Living Labs is giving researchers a more complete view of life in all its complexity, and in his view, is the future of social science.

“We identified Adelaide early on as the prime location for a Living Lab in Australia and the broader region due do its leadership in data analytics and machine learning,” Professor Pentland said.

“We are excited to join with our corporate partners, BankSA and Optus Business and the Government of South Australia in developing our newest Living Lab at Lot Fourteen.”

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, David Ridgway, welcomed the MIT Living Lab at Lot Fourteen as a ‘vital tool’ in the state’s drive for positive economic and jobs growth, with research projects able to harness rich data and insights to inform new ideas about how we implement our strong vision for South Australia.

“Lot Fourteen is the perfect location for a Living Lab - it’s a place where entrepreneurs, investors, businesses, global industries, universities and other leading research institutions come together to share ideas and collaborate to invest in the innovation economy,” said Minister Ridgway.

“The Living Lab will further enrich this great site and enable learnings to be rapidly shared and highly effective networks to operate in a seamless, physical and digital environment.”

As principal partner, BankSA Chief Executive, Nick Reade, said that the Living Lab formed part of the bank’s strategy to be a catalyst for economic growth in the state.

“We need to identify the right interventions to help our economy grow and the power in the Living Lab lies in being able to pinpoint what the roadblocks are, and generate valuable insights to propel the State forward,” said Mr Reade.

“South Australia has a unique opportunity to use the Living Lab and the insights it will provide to urgently address issues such as population growth, ensuring it is done with full insight and planning, which will be vital for the long-term sustainability and prosperity of the State.

“We’ve seen the success of this approach in the work these labs have undertaken overseas in cities such as New York, Istanbul and Beijing. From these Living Labs, the detailed knowledge that is emerging provides a base of information from which governments can be more specific with policy and initiatives to support and improve the prosperity of their communities.”

Mobility intelligence company, DSpark, will play an important role in the technical capability of the Living Lab, fitting out the site and providing key inputs into the work being undertaken.

Acting Managing Director of Optus Business, Simon Vatcher said collaboration is key to capture the full potential of investment.

“The Living Lab Project brings together like-minded organisations so that the perspective of government, academia, corporates and start-ups can be considered,” Mr Vatcher said.

“We recognise that the success of Optus Business rests on our ability to help our enterprise and government customers use innovation to operate more efficiently, tap into emerging markets and opportunities, and satisfy the evolving needs of their customers. The Living Lab will help us achieve this.”

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