NBN Co, CSIRO partner to enhance future digital transformation

Wednesday, 14 October, 2020

NBN Co, CSIRO partner to enhance future digital transformation

NBN Co and CSIRO will collaborate and combine resources to strengthen research and planning for Australia’s needs in the digital age. The two organisations will develop data insights to support the development of Australia’s future digital capability needs. The first research project under the collaboration aims to improve the understanding of the skills, infrastructure and support needed by industries to accelerate their digital transformation.

CSIRO’s data and digital specialist arm, Data61, will draw on NBN’s aggregated and de-identified broadband traffic data, and other economic, demographic and geographic inputs, to examine how households and businesses across Australia have used digital channels to access work, social connection and entertainment during COVID-19. The initial analysis will act as a baseline hypothesis for the digital maturity and resilience of different sectors, business activities, jobs and households, and their ability to recover after the COVID-19 pandemic.

NBN Co’s Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Rue, said that working with CSIRO will help transform underlying national broadband traffic data into high-value insights, to inform how Australia can drive and retain innovation, ensure industries are as productive as they can be and build a resilient economy.

“The challenges facing our nation are significant, which is why we must find innovative ways to support Australia’s resilience and recovery. Embracing accelerated digitisation of the economy and making the most of the benefits of fast and reliable broadband will be crucial as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19,” Rue said.

The project will assess how businesses and households across different regions, industries and occupations shifted their activities online at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and how this evolved as the pandemic tracked over subsequent months. This could highlight the relative success of industries in adopting technology and adapting to an evolving work environment, and provide a perspective on productivity under COVID-19. CSIRO’s Chief Executive, Dr Larry Marshall, said the collaboration will facilitate the generation of new insights into how Australians are adopting digital technologies to help solve meaningful issues and shape the future in many areas of society.

“The world is an increasingly connected place, and so much of our research in areas ranging from robotics to health care is now predicated on being able to share and compute data via broadband networks. Working with NBN Co, together we can deliver a unique national outcome,” Dr Marshall said.

Future collaborations will explore how data insights can inform and improve energy reliability and efficiency, data privacy and security, agriculture automation, and digital health.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/peshkov

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