The University of Technology Sydney is the first academic institution to work with SAS – the leader in analytics – and Cisco in a global Internet of Things (IoT) partnership, creating a new research and teaching facility, the UTS-SAS-Cisco IoT Innovation Lab.

The UTS-SAS-Cisco IoT Innovation Lab will create a ‘three tier’ approach using SAS analytics, Cisco hardware and software and UTS expertise in data engineering to explore how the huge volumes of data generated by massive numbers of IoT devices and sensors can be gathered, stored and analysed to help businesses improve decision-making, build their organisational capacity and apply streaming data analytics at the edge to meet new challenges of IoT.

The Lab will operate on the Cisco SAS Edge-to-Enterprise IoT Analytics Platform which combines SAS’ event stream processing, Cisco’s networking edge and data centre infrastructure technologies and UTS’s advanced analytics expertise.

Users – researchers, students and eventually industry partners from all sectors – will work with SAS, Cisco and UTS’ world-leading streaming analytics and visualisation technologies to address the complex challenges of an exponentially connected world.

UTS academics will design and verify data processing models using machine learning and artificial intelligence; both theoretically, and applied as, in time, industry clients are identified for collaboration on specific projects, bringing real-world problems and their own data to the Lab for processing and analysis and to test solutions.

Early research will be in the areas of advanced manufacturing, agribusiness and healthcare. For teaching, improved learning outcomes for students will occur through optimised study environments.

Practical Applications

An immediate practical application for the Lab will involve the University’s Faculty of Engineering and IT. Data generated by the more than 3,000 IoT sensors throughout the Faculty’s state-of-the art building and the Microgrid opened in 2014 will be analysed in real time for energy conservation and cost reduction.

Dr Gengfa Fang, Director of UTS-SAS-Cisco IoT Innovation Lab, Faculty of Engineering and IT, said, “The IoT Innovation Lab will be an exciting local and global IoT hub, where IoT innovation will deliver positive technological impacts on the environment, society, people, governments and industries. The volume of data already being generated will only increase but its value to society can only be fully realised if we are able to use it productively.”

Professor Michael Blumenstein, UTS’ Associate Dean (Research Strategy and Management), Faculty of Engineering and IT, said, “We are excited to work with SAS and CISCO on this world-first partnership, which will foster collaboration between top UTS FEIT researchers in the area of IoT and harness the power of industry platforms to deliver disruptive solutions for real-world problems.”

David Bowie, SAS VP for Australia and New Zealand, said, “SAS has a long history of support for the education sector and we are delighted to be involved with UTS in this exciting initiative. The value of edge data is at its greatest when analysed in transit, and this is what our trailblazing global partnership with Cisco makes possible.”

“Cisco is investing, together with the University sector, to accelerate short term innovation and help develop Australia’s capability in solving large complex industry problems,” said Reg Johnson, General Manager, Education, Cisco Australia & New Zealand.

“This exciting project with UTS is a leading-edge research and innovation initiative that is looking to make the energy sector more sustainable by creating a ‘Real time Internet of Things (IoT) Energy Brokerage.’ The initiative is the first global deployment utilising the Cisco and SAS Edge-To-Enterprise IoT Analytics Platform, which is underpinned by the Cisco Kinetic IoT Data Fabric.”

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