Supporting Victoria’s digital economy
The Digital Futures program was established in 2021 with funding from the Victorian Higher Education Investment Fund (VHESIF) to support Victoria’s productivity and economy as the state recovers from the pandemic, by providing access to Deakin’s expertise, research, programs, and technology.
Both the State and Federal Governments are committed to developing a thriving digital economy and society by attracting talent, upskilling communities and businesses, creating jobs, and bridging the digital divide. The potential benefits to the Australian economy through digitalisation are estimated to be as much as $315 billion over the next decade.
See Digital Futures in action
The following initiatives are part of the Digital Futures ecosystem.
Digital Futures Network
The Digital Futures Network brings together state government, local councils, public libraries, and industry partners across Victoria to establish a network focused on digital inclusion, the digital economy, and digital services.
Consisting of more than 60 interconnected hubs, spokes, and nodes across Victoria, the Digital Futures Network is a pilot program aimed at highlighting and linking existing infrastructure and services that can assist communities to connect, upskill and ultimately bridge the digital divide.
The Victorian Government is committed to introducing a thriving digital economy by attracting talent, upskilling communities and businesses, creating jobs, and bridging the digital divide.
The Digital Futures Network is driven by public good objectives such as delivering free digital literacy, financial literacy, and business literacy programs, as well as social inclusion by providing support and free access to technology and digital resources to underserved communities.
Wyndham City Council is a founding partner of the Network and according to Wyndham City Mayor, Councillor Susan McIntyre, the partnership is timely as it aligns with Council strategies.
'For Wyndham, Australia’s fastest growing local government area, this Digital Futures Network partnership means our community and businesses will have access to programs and learning tools, through our libraries and SPARK Innovation Hub, to help them better understand, navigate, communicate, live and operate in this ever-transforming digital world.'
'This partnership is timely and beneficial as it aligns with our current Economic Development, Learning, Smart City and Resilient Wyndham strategies, aimed at digitally future-proofing Wyndham’s communities.' Councillor McIntyre said.
Geelong Regional Libraries CEO, Vanessa Schernickau echoes the positive nature of the partnership.
“At Geelong Regional Libraries, one of our core objectives is to help bridge the digital divide for our communities. We’re proud to be a founding member of The Digital Futures Network – we share the same approach to improving access to technology and digital resources. We believe access to technology, and the knowledge on how to navigate the digital world, should be available to all members of our communities, as a basic right. We’re excited to see what we can achieve together,” Ms Schernickau said.
- City of Melbourne
- Wyndham City Council
- Geelong Regional Library Corporation
- Yarra Plenty Regional Libraries
- Deakin Library
- South West TAFE
eCommerce Accelerator Lab
In February 2023, the Digital Futures program and award-winning eCommerce agency Megantic, launched a new partnership to help Victorian online businesses enhance their eCommerce platforms.
The Deakin-Megantic eCommerce Accelerator Lab is a joint initiative designed to support the national and international market competitiveness of medium-size online retail business through improved eCommerce platforms.
Participating companies received $800,000 in vouchers to support their inclusion in the program. At the launch of this program, Victoria’s Minister for Higher Education, the Hon. Gayle Tierney said, “We’re proud to invest in programs that create new job opportunities for Victorians, support Victorian businesses to develop digital expertise and ensure they are equipped to remain competitive on the global stage in the future.”
The program has been tailored for each company across key areas such as technical support and implementation, cyber security awareness, competitor analysis, eCommerce strategy, digital marketing and more.
Centre for Cyber Resilience and Trust (CREST)
The Centre for Cyber Resilience and Trust (CREST) is supported by the Digital Futures program and in part operates from a purpose-built innovation space at the Digital Futures Hub in Burwood (Level 8, Building BC, Burwood Campus at Deakin University). CREST brings together researchers with complementary expertise, including executive cyber security leaders from some of Australia’s best-known companies to deliver multi-disciplinary research and thought leadership on cyber resilience and trust.
Core research areas of CREST include advancing cyber security technologies, securing data and infrastructure, promoting cyber safe behaviours, disrupting cyber harm, and harmonising cyber governance.
Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A2I2)
The Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A2I2) is also supported by the Digital Futures program and in part operates from a purpose-built innovation space at the Digital Futures Hub in Burwood (Level 8, Building BC, Burwood Campus at Deakin University).
A²I² tackles real-world problems using methods grounded in modern machine learning, deep learning and software engineering practices to make discoveries to advance knowledge and build systems that benefit society.
By exploring new frontiers in AI and implementing safe and effective AI solutions, the Institute transforms industries and improves people's lives around the world.
Critical Digital Infrastructures and Interfaces Group
The Critical Digital Infrastructures and Interfaces (CDII) Group has a Partnership Agreement with the Digital Futures program. CDII explores the roles and futures of digital infrastructures and interfaces in our communities. The team creates socially impactful technology research that supports industry professionals striving to build more secure, ethical and human-centric digital technologies.
CDII’s interdisciplinary approach brings together experts from Information Systems, Computer Science, Criminology, Cybersecurity, Business, Law, Communications, Media Studies, and the Creative Arts to scrutinise the underlying technologies that drive the digital world.
Information Technology (IT) Research Centres
Information technology is an essential tool for innovation and productivity across a wide range of sectors. With a thriving industry at the very centre of the way we work, research studies in the field will open you up to a diverse range of career opportunities. In partnership with the School of IT, the Digital Futures Hub is also the home of three IT Research Centres.
The Centre for Software, Systems and Society (CSSS) conducts fundamental and applied research for the specification, creation, evaluation and efficient operation of innovative, software-supported systems.
The Data to Intelligence Research Centre (D2I) conducts world class research involving all processes starting with data and ending with intelligence. We solve fundamental and practical problems for data, data modelling, complex networks and decision making, based on advanced data science, mathematics and machine learning.
The Centre for Internet of Things Ecosystem Research and Experimentation (CITECORE) carries out world-leading multidisciplinary collaborative Internet of Things (IoT) focused fundamental and applied research in partnership with government, industry and the community to create demonstrable innovations and intellectual property.
Professional Development Courses
Free online courses to develop leadership and business skills.
Digital Futures Director
Digital Futures program is lead by international innovation expert and professor, Dr Gjoko Muratovski.
Dr Gjoko Muratovski is Director of Deakin’s government funded program, Digital Futures. Prior to this, he has been an invited member of thought-leading organisations such as the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows, Yale higher Education Leadership Summit, Oxford Digital Leaders Network, Stanford Institute for innovation in Developing Economies, and the Forbes Councils.
Digital Strategy Report
For more information about the Digital Futures program alignment with State and Federal Government’s digital strategies, download the Digital Strategy Report prepared by the Digital Futures program in May 2023.
Press and Media Releases
What will define Australia’s Digital Future? Lessons for CEOs
Covid-hit businesses gain access to $6.5m digital innovation hub
Innovation expert to lead post-COVID recovery hub for Victorian SMEs
Deakin's Digital Futures Hub partnership set to transform Victorian online retail businesses
Free innovation sessions for SMEs to adapt and thrive post-COVID
This project includes co-contributions from the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund (VHESIF).
For further information on our other VHESIF funded projects please visit the links below.