New agreement brings Deakin's pioneering AI expertise to Defence

Media release
30 July 2020

Deakin is proud to be one of 37 Australian public universities joining forces with the Australian Department of Defence through the newly announced Defence Science Partnerships agreement.

Known as DSP 2.0, the agreement replaces a previous agreement of the same name and facilitates greater collaboration between Defence and the university sector.

Deakin's Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Alfred Deakin Professor Julie Owens, said the agreement cements the important collaborative role of universities in researching and delivering technology-based solutions for Defence.

"Deakin is at the forefront of research in AI and machine learning, including intelligent research and innovation systems in robotics, simulation modelling and haptics solutions. Working alongside Defence colleagues, Deakin researchers are focused on solving complex, challenging issues, growing and applying advanced artificial intelligence skills and gaining experience across Defence, positioning us to collaborate for many years ahead," Professor Owens said.

"The University's flagship research institutes include the Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A²I²) and the Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI). Both are world leaders in the technological advancement skills that are highly valued by Defence, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

"This is a high-value strategic partnership for Deakin with one of Australia's largest government agencies."

A²I² Co-Director Alfred Deakin Professor Svetha Venkatesh said her team has built a strong global reputation for ground-breaking work in machine learning over a vast array of sectors, from security surveillance through to health.

"We are excited at the opportunity to collaborate with Australian Defence and anticipate this will be the start of a long-term relationship," Professor Venkatesh said.

"Collectively, the A²I² team has decades of experience in using AI to transform industries and improve lives, as well as in exploring the new frontiers of AI research. I'm confident that this new partnership will provide an enhanced platform to generate even great benefit to the Australian Department of Defence and society."

Chief Defence Scientist, Professor Tanya Monro, said: "It's critical that we harness the skills, talents and expertise of the entire innovation network to deliver the best possible outcomes for Defence and Australia more broadly. With all 37 of our public universities in Australia signing on to the new partnering framework, we have a mechanism for achieving that."

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