Invest Victoria Announces Partnership Between Melbourne’s Globally Renowned Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society and Google for Research into Powerful Broadband Applications

May 13, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO and MELBOURNE, Australia, May 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the University of Melbourne’s Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES), Australia’s leading broadband research institute and test-bed, announced a partnership with Google, Inc. to provide funding from Google for new research projects focusing on broadband applications for healthcare, education and the community.

“We are delighted that Google is supporting research at IBES and are grateful for their support. It demonstrates an active engagement by the industry to drive development and innovation in broadband applications and services,” said IBES Director, Laureate Professor Rod Tucker.

IBES, strategically located in the heart of Australia’s technology and communications capital, Melbourne, is a state-of-the-art broadband network test-bed laboratory that enables researchers to trial new ideas and innovations in a real-life networking environment, including at first and second release sites on the Australian National Broadband Network. At IBES, researchers can perform experiments, ranging from configuring applications vertically through the technology stack to assessing end user reactions to new services and applications.

“We welcome Google’s partnership with Melbourne’s IBES – a unique global institute harnessing Australian ingenuity and global collaboration to create world leading practices on broadband,” said Victor Perton, commissioner to the Americas for the State Government of Victoria, Australia. “Google’s funding will support IBES’s important research projects in e-learning and e-health, which will benefit the community significantly. IBES has already made outstanding progress in this space, and this Google partnership will accelerate the institute’s work.”

Research already being undertaken at IBES includes developing a networked virtual museum of human languages as well as research to develop smart homes for the elderly, tele-rehabilitation capabilities based on haptic technology, wireless broadband monitoring of knee osteoarthritis, rural tele-stroke studies and tele-dentistry assessment and examinations.

Melbourne is the nerve center for Australia’s ambitious National Broadband Network, the world’s largest high-speed broadband network. The city is home to more than 8,400 technology companies, including the Asia Pacific operations of such industry giants as Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Oracle and more. The Google partnership is just the latest example of the strength of Victoria’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry – in March, Microsoft contributed AUD$400,000 to IBES for high-speed broadband research, and earlier this month, Electronic Arts (EA) announced that it had acquired Melbourne-based interactive games company Firemint, the studio behind the extremely successful Flight Control game for iPhone.

“Melbourne and the State of Victoria have much to offer global U.S. technology companies like Google, including a wealth of creative design and engineering talent,” Perton continued. “Most Americans are aware of the rapid rise in the Australian dollar, which reflects the strength of a mature and stable economy that grew through the global financial crisis. Additionally, U.S. companies in Melbourne rely on its world-class universities and infrastructure strengths and a time zone that supports easy access to all of Asia. It’s an all-around good place to do business.”

Further, Google’s investment in IBES is consistent with the annual Australian Bureau of Statistics survey of business expenditure on research and development. The study, released in last September, indicates that foreign investors spent $5.8 billion on R&D activity in Australia in 2008 and 2009, with Victoria accounting for the largest share.

“Australia’s broadband roll-out is very attractive to global investors and practitioners,” Perton added. “In addition to Google, IBES is supported by Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, Microsoft and NEC, as well as Australia’s leading telecommunication carriers Optus and Telstra. The Victorian Government is very proud to support IBES’s exciting research capability to develop new transformative applications that ultimately benefit the community.”

For business inquiries regarding Victoria’s ICT industry, contact Victor Perton, Commissioner to the Americas, State Government of Victoria, Australia (415.856.0552 ext. 103, victor.perton@diird.vic.gov.au).

About IBES

IBES is a research and development venture that focuses on the full range of applications and technologies relating to next-generation broadband. It combines the University of Melbourne’s world-leading research in broadband technologies and applications, such as e-health, e-education, digital environments, culture and communications and legal and regulatory issues related to broadband, together with a state-of-the-art test-bed laboratory which uses ‘fibre to the home’ and wireless technology to demonstrate realistic broadband operation. The IBES Industry Partner Program promotes and facilitates collaborative interactions between partners and the Institute. It assists industry players with the aspects of network design and planning, product development and improvement that they need to deliver innovative, communications products and services.

About Invest Victoria

Invest Victoria is the investment promotion agency of the State Government of Victoria, Australia based in Melbourne and across the globe including San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC and New York. Invest Victoria provides a single entry point to a range of business and investment services for companies wanting to set up or expand their business operations through foreign direct investment (FDI) in the state of Victoria. For more information on Invest Victoria’s services, visit http://www.invest.vic.gov.au.

SOURCE Invest Victoria

Source: newswire

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