Home Business IT Business Intelligence La Trobe uni to link Vic businesses with PARC

La Trobe uni to link Vic businesses with PARC

La Trobe University has made an agreement to link businesses in Victoria with PARC, an organisation that has been known for its innovation.

The Xerox company is known for having developed laser printing, the graphical user interface and Ethernet.

"PARC has an extraordinary history of innovation firsts in design, human insights, computer vision, material science, robotics and security,” La Trobe acting vice-chancellor Professor Keith Nugent said.

"Their experience in developing and delivering breakthrough technologies is next to none, and we're excited to bring this expertise and capacity to both La Trobe and the wider Victorian community."

Under the memorandum of understanding, La Trobe will join forces with PARC to help Australian organisations tackle their toughest challenges through technological innovation.

"This partnership combines our technological creativity and commercial expertise with La Trobe's growing interest and strengths in data analytics, computer science and cyber security," PARC director of business development Aki Ohashi said.

"We're excited to bring our ideas to Australia and also to learn from Australian innovators."

Ohashi told iTWire that he was talking to a number of other universities in Victoria about tie-ups as well, among them Swinburne, Victoria University and Melbourne University.

"We are doing something similar in NSW too," he said, adding that he hoped similar partnerships could be set up there.

Asked what particular technology could be brought to Australia, Ohashi cited deep learning and artificial intelligence.

He also said there was scope for explainable AI: the type of AI where not only would a system make a decision but also explain the rationale behind it to the human beings who wanted to know why a particular decision had been made.

PARC was spun out by Xerox in 2002 as a separate company and had to look after its own finances, Ohashi said. It now had about 200 staff.

Recalling the glory days of the 1970s when Bob Taylor was in charge of the lab, Ohashi commented that hopefully those days were not competely over.

One recent development from PARC has been content-centric networking which emphasises content by making it directly addressable and routable. Endpoints communicate based on named data instead of IP addresses.

This technology was bought by Cisco in February.


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.