By Lauren Sydoruk

Innovation Central Perth (ICP) has joined forces with iPREP WA to offer PhD students at all Western Australian universities the opportunity to develop innovative solutions to novel challenges faced by ICP’s client organisations within industry and government.

The seven-week placement will connect late-stage PhD students to organisations with a problem in need of solving, or a manual process that if automated or digitalised will transform day-to-day operations.

Cisco Innovation Centre Lead Mr Tom Goerke said the new partnership with iPREP WA is an exciting opportunity for PhD students to gain real-world experience in innovation technology solution discovery.

“The program will strengthen relationships between the higher education and business sectors by finding mutual benefits to drive innovation and the economy together,” Mr Goerke said.

“This will help bridge the digital capability gap by enhancing the PhD student experience and help build skills that meet industry demand.”

Mr Goerke explains that the new partnership will give students an immersive experience and help educate them on the professions that will be in demand in the future.

“We see this program as a key conduit for our centre to continue to generate Perth-based expertise for specific vertical Internet of Things solutions,” Mr Goerke said.

The program will create a bespoke expert team supporting PhD students to utilise technology and research to achieve efficiencies or create new and innovative opportunities for WA industry.

Curtin University Research Partnerships Director Mr Paul Nicholls said iPREP is recognised in Western Australia as an important initiative to link industry with PhD students to solve real-world problems.

“Partnering with Innovation Central Perth will enable iPREP students to access the technologies and technical support that will help accentuate the iPREP offering. I commend iPREP and ICP on this partnership,” Mr Nicholls said.

Student teams will be supported by Cisco Solutions Engineers, Curtin University academic researchers, and a digital lab filled with operational and information technology resources to explore and prototype options for bold disruptive solutions.

This collaborative program is supported by Curtin University, The University of Western Australia, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University, and The University of Notre Dame.

Innovation Central Perth is an industry and research collaboration centre founded by Curtin University, Cisco Systems Australia Pty Ltd, Woodside Energy Ltd and CSIRO’s Data61.

Further information on ICP can be found online here.

Further information on iPREP WA can be found online here.