​UTS partners with China for electronics innovation centre

A new joint centre for advanced research into information, communications, and electronics has been opened by the University of Technology Sydney and the China Electronics Group Corporation.

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has partnered with the China Electronics Group Corporation (CETC) to launch a new joint centre for advanced research.

Located at the UTS campus in Sydney, the Australia-China Research Innovation Centre in Information and Electronics Technologies (IET) is expected to conduct long-term research projects into information, communications, and electronics.

The IET will be governed and managed by representatives of both UTS and CETC, and will receive up to AU$20 million over five years from the Chinese organisation.

The centre will gradually extend to include other Australian and Chinese universities, as well as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), with the aim of creating an international innovation hub for IET exploration, UTS said.

The CETC will focus on big data technologies, which UTS said comprises mobile sensing and communications, electromagnetic metamaterials and devices, big visual data analytics, transfer learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The research centre will explore advanced materials and electronics, which includes terahertz devices, environmental and industrial sensors, and integrated circuits, UTS explained.

Quantum computing and quantum communications will also be a focus for the new centre, and follows the launch of the university's Centre for Quantum Software and Information (CQSI) in December.

The CQSI is solely dedicated to the development of the software and information processing infrastructure required to run applications at quantum scale and builds upon the work undertaken by its forerunner, the Centre for Quantum Computation and Intelligent Systems, which focused on the development of theoretical foundations, innovative technology, and practical systems for quantum computing.

Similarly, the CETC will also focus on artificial intelligence (AI), and complements the newly opened Centre for Artificial Intelligence (CAI), which also operates out of the university's Sydney campus.

CAI is expected to focus on creating intelligent machines with a greater capacity for perception, learning, and reasoning.

Simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM), assisted robots, and robots for infrastructure monitoring and maintenance will also be explored as part of the CETC's remit.

The CETC has already kicked off work with the Global Big Data Technologies Centre (GBDTC), which is an international centre of excellence for the development of enabling technologies -- such as the IoT and mobility devices -- for big data science, analytics, and telecommunications, touted by the university as providing a platform for global collaboration with industry and government to deliver real societal and economic impact.

Currently, the work between the CETC and the GBDTC includes the development of wireless technologies for future telecommunications networks, distinguished professor Jay Guo from CETC explained.

The Australian government signed a formal "Dialogue on Innovation" agreement with China last month that will see both countries exchange ideas between government representatives, business, and the research sector.

Under the arrangement, both countries will contribute up to AU$6 million over three years to the next round of the Joint Research Centres, under the Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF), which supports strategic science, technology, and innovation collaboration considered of mutual benefit to both countries.

It is expected the funding will mostly go towards advanced manufacturing, medical technologies and pharmaceuticals, and resources and energy.

In a bid to strengthen ties with China, the government announced six Joint Research Centres last year to address challenges both countries face in the marine science, food and agribusiness, and mining equipment technology and services sectors.

For a cost of AU$5.95 million, the six virtual centres are to be funded for three years under the ACSRF.

Similarly, it was announced earlier this week that the federal government had agreed to enhanced cybersecurity cooperation with China. Both countries have agreed that neither would conduct or support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, trade secrets, or confidential business information with the intent of obtaining competitive advantage.