Communications & Media

Sense-T once again in running for national innovation awards

Sense-T is vying for top national honours in Australia’s pre-eminent innovation awards later this month.

It follows Sense-T’s success in the recent Tasmanian iAwards, winning the Research and Development Project of the Year award for its data platform and a merit award in the Industrial and Primary Industries category for the overall Sense-T program.

The nation’s peak industry body for the technology sector, the Australian Information Industry Association, has conducted the awards for more than 20 years to recognise innovation in the digital economy.

Sense-T Director Associate Professor Stephen Cahoon says the awards provide an opportunity to show that world-leading industry research is being conducted successfully in Tasmania, with exciting benefits for the economy, environment and community.

“We’re very proud of our ability to be agile, industry-focused and to solve demand-driven industry challenges, developing real solutions to real problems,” he said. “It’s great to have the calibre of our work acknowledged, and to celebrate that with our researchers and industry partners.”

Sense-T has conducted 25 industry research projects as it creates the world’s first economy-wide intelligent sensor network that integrates various data sources to build a digital view of the entire State. It’s created rich data sets by connecting a range of sensor networks owned by government departments, energy and water utilities and businesses.

“By adding our own real-time revolutionary sensors and bringing together historical and spatial data, we’re able to explore relationships across the whole economy, not just individual industries or communities,” Associate Professor Cahoon said. “We analyse how data impact on each other and the environment, and look for better ways to federate the data to provide new business insights and decision-making.”

Sense-T, a powerful collaboration between the University of Tasmania, CSIRO, and the Federal and Tasmanian governments, now has a sophisticated digital knowledge ecosystem.

“Sense-T has enabled the University to pioneer data-led transformative research and innovation across 10 industries, including agriculture, aquaculture, tourism, health and logistics,” said the University of Tasmania’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Brigid Heywood.

“The Sense-T projects have put sensors on oysters to measure their heartbeat, we’ve put sensors on cows to detect how much pasture they eat, we’ve tracked tourists as they travel around our State, we’ve developed an app that has demonstrably reduced morbidity caused by poor air quality – all with the aim of finding innovative uses for the data that we’ve captured and analysed.

“Farmers are now using data to predict pasture growth and manage their herds, the wine industry has a better understanding of disease and predicting frost, the tourism industry has valuable new insights, and irrigation management and water use efficiency have been improved,” Professor Heywood said.

The Sense-T program has created 114 jobs, while commercialisation options are estimated to have an indicative return on investment of more than $300 million. An independent study found one-third of Tasmanians believe their wellbeing is improved by the benefits enabled through Sense-T.

Sense-T received two Merit Certificates at the National iAwards last year, for the AirRater smartphone app and the Tourist Tracker app.

The 2017 National iAwards winners will be announced in Melbourne on August 30.

Published on: 16 Aug 2017 10:42am