​UNSW partners with Tata Consultancy Services for VR, machine learning

The partnership will see the university work with the consultancy firm on research areas such as machine learning, virtual reality, robotics, data analytics, and cloud computing.

The University of New South Wales has announced a partnership with outsourcing giant Tata Consultancy Services that will see the pair undertake joint research in areas such as machine learning, virtual reality (VR), robotics, data analytics, and cloud computing.

Under the memorandum of understanding, UNSW said the organisations will work together on ideas which stem from pure technology research and give them real-world applications, with the agreement also opening up the prospect of exchanges of scholars and internships for UNSW students at Tata Consultancy's global research facilities.

The memorandum was signed by Tata Consultancy's CTO Ananth Krishnan and UNSW's deputy vice-chancellor enterprise professor Brian Boyle at the consultancy firm's Asia-Pacific Summit in Sydney.

"There is a lot that UNSW and Tata Consultancy Services can offer each other," Boyle said. "UNSW excels in taking our research breakthroughs and partnering with industry to make a significant global impact. Working with TCS will build on UNSW's strong international links and help accelerate innovation by opening up new opportunities around the world."

Tata Consultancy Services, which is part of India's largest industrial conglomerate, the Tata group, has formed alliances with major academic institutions worldwide in what it said was a bid to encourage new developments in the area of research.

Last week, the University of Sydney launched its Centre for Translational Data Science, which will see researchers embark on data-driven projects in a bid to prevent crime, reduce youth unemployment, and advance medical treatment.

Also during its Innovation Week, the university announced the launch of an on-campus innovation hub, aimed at fixing Australia's historic inability to turn ideas into "wealth generating businesses".

According to James Meade, head of the Sydney Social Innovation Hub, universities have an essential role to play in fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in both the private and public sectors.

"Innovation and entrepreneurship requires enthusiasm and we have lots of that. But it also requires targeted support. By leveraging informal knowledge networks within the university we can enable successful student innovation outcomes," Meade said last week.

"The Sydney Social Innovation Hub will provide a central facility for students of all faculties to co-create and innovate with academics, community, and industry."