Samsung to share R&D insights with Deakin University

Samsung Australia is set to share its research and development insights with Deakin University, with the two organisations signing a collaboration agreement this week.

An agreement signed by Samsung Electronics Australia and Deakin University this week is set to see the tech giant share its research and development insights with the university, in a bid to jointly develop new industry solutions.

For Craig Gledhill, Samsung's vice president of the Enterprise Business Team for Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, the new agreement will give Deakin access to the tech giant's products, solutions and technical resources.

"A strong working relationship with the University would also enable Samsung to test new solutions and share R&D insights," said Gledhill.

"Deakin University has a strong commitment towards using digital technology to help deliver superior learning, and Samsung is pleased to enter into a collaborative relationship to assist the University in fulfilling this vision," he said.

According to Gledhill, the new agreement has been nine months in the making and is the first of its kind for Samsung globally. Both organisations hope the agreement will ultimately result in technological developments that will lead to a better experience for students.

"One of the main application projects we're working on is a full student portal, allowing students to access all the diferent digital assets throughout the campus," Gledhill told ZDNet. "We're now working on how to put that in the mobile world, moving the university's online portal, DeakinSync, onto tablets and then other mobile devices."

The proposed collaboration agreement was formalised on Wednesday, signed by the university's vice-chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander and the president of Samsung Australia, Jack Kwon.

According to Deakin, it will include joint research and development "opportunities" through joint studies, solution developments and research projects.

"Deakin's research and development capabilities, combined with Samsung's cutting edge resources, make this announcement so exciting," said den Hollander. "Working closely with Samsung is another example of Deakin's world-leading efforts to bridge the digital divide by using state-of-the-art technology to stay connected."

The agreement comes as the multi-campus Victorian university announces its IT students are working with a Melbourne-based community organisation to develop a new computer game that is designed to reward altruistic "upstanding" behaviour, and help develop conflict resolution and bullying prevention skills.

The community organisation, A Safe Supportive Environment (CASSE) seeks to foster enhanced understanding among students and teachers about the benefits of altruistic behaviours with its Peaceful Schools Program (PSP).

The program, which is largely driven by students, is reported to have reduced bullying and mean behaviour, and increased inclusion in all 12 Victorian schools that participated in its pilot program.

"Screen time — what kids are watching and how much time they are spending online — is a huge issue," said Carolyn Aston, director of CASSE's PSP. "Cyberbullying and the links between violent computer games and real-life violence are all too frequent headline topics.

"However, there is also terrific potential for online gaming to be used as a means of promoting altruistic behaviour and preventing bullying," she said.

According to Deakin University senior IT lecturer, Dr Michael Hobbs, the development of the game will continue through a series of workshops and Skype collaboration sessions.

"We aim to have a fully operational game prototype ready to take to schools by the end of the year," he said.

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