Data to Decisions Cooperative Research Centre

Prof Louis de Koker and Prof Danuta Mendelson are partners in the Data to Decisions Cooperative Research Centre (D2D CRC) Law and Policy program. The Data to Decisions is one of three new Cooperative Research Centres to win the 16th CRC (2013) program selection round.

The Federal government has provided a $25 million grant over the next 5 years with total investment of $87 million to create and fund the Data to Decisions CRC.

The Data to Decisions CRC comprises of three research programs: Data Management and Analysis; Image Recognition; and Law and Policy aiming to 'develop robust tools to maximise the benefits that Australia's defence and national security sector can extract from big data to reduce national security threats'.

The Deakin School of Law will play a leading role in the new CRC, with Prof Louis de Koker as Program Leader of the Law and Policy research project, and Prof Danuta Mendelson as Key Researcher. Deakin Law School will collaborate with the University of New South Wales Faculty of Law (Prof Janet Chan as Project leader), and with the Attorney-General's Division and the Australian Federal Police.

What is a Cooperative Research Centre?

The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program is an Australian Government Initiative administered by AusIndustry, a division within the Department of Industry. The CRC program supports medium to long-term end user driven research collaborations to address major challenges facing Australia. CRCs pursue solutions to these challenges that are innovative, of high impact and capable of being effectively deployed by the end users. CRCs combine the different research strengths of universities, government agencies and private sector stakeholders.

What will the Data to Decisions CRC Centre do?

The D2D CRC is focused on Australia's Defence and National community and aims to assist them to meet imminent and complex Big Data challenges. The Defence and National Security community is often faced with a daunting challenge: to seek the proverbial needle in the haystack. They attempt to find connections in vast, disparate volumes of data that are imperceptible to humans, but which can be discovered with smart analytics and machine enablement. This challenge is made greater by the wide variety of data sources, and the ever increasing size and scale of the data that is being collected by Defence and National Security agencies.

The Data to Decisions Cooperative Research Centre (D2D CRC) will bring together world-class capabilities and establish a research collaboration framework across academia, industry and Government to collectively tackle Defence and National Security Big Data challenges and grow Australia's broader capacity for data innovation.

The D2D CRC has secured 12 industry partners including SAS (Business Analytics software), PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), Genix (management consulting, risk management, process optimization), and the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia. Government partners of the CRC include the Australian Federal Police, Attorney-General's department, and the Department of Defence.

Five universities are involved: Deakin, UniSA, UNSW, University of Adelaide and Carnegie Mellon (Australia). The University of South Australia is the national headquarters of the Data to Decisions CRC; Deakin School of Law and the School of Information and Business Analytics are its key partners.

The School of Law and the D2D CRC

One research project in the Law and Policy program will focus, for example, on the Big Data Technology and National Security: Comparative International Perspectives on Strategy, Policy and Law research project. The research team will examine the policies, regulatory approaches, processes and strategies used by several countries to balance the management and exploitation of Big Data for law enforcement and national security purposes, while safeguarding confidentiality and security of sensitive personal information, as well as the accuracy of data sets. The research will aim to maximise benefits of Big Data technology for Australia while avoiding potential risks and maintaining the trust of the Australian population in our democratic institutions.

Implications for the Deakin Law School

The CRC research will put the Deakin School of Law at the head of a high profile research program. It will deepen the School's research collaboration with other universities and with government.

For more information, visit the D2D CRC website.

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