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Wednesday, 24 November 2010 16:00

NICTA teams with Japan's Nomura Research to study NBN apps for smart cities


NICTA has signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan's Nomura Research Institute (NRI) to study the use of ICT in urban, industrial and social infrastructure, with a view to developing recommendations for research and commercial applications.

NICTA CEO, Dr Phil Robertson, said: "As the National Broadband Network rolls out in Australia, a unique window of opportunity is opening for the creation of intelligent ICT applications to address problems in transport systems, urban infrastructure and environmental management."

NICTA said the proposed research would focus on intelligent transport systems (ITS), smart power grids, water supply management and agriculture and would examine two models of ICT use in these fields: one for developed countries, targeting selected cities and regions in Australia, and one for emerging and developing countries, which will cover selected cities and regions in Southeast Asia.

"Based on these models, NICTA and NRI will pursue field tests in the candidate cities and regions and compile recommendations for the host governments," NICTA said. "NRI intends to encourage businesses, research institutes, and other organisations in Japan to join in the project. NICTA will liaise closely with CSIRO and other Australian research and industry organisations to bring additional capability and experience to this project.

"[Nomura's] experience with large infrastructure projects in Japan, combined with Australia's experience in large-scale infrastructure projects in Australia and overseas, offers the opportunity to develop smart infrastructure applications for Australian and Southeast Asian markets."

According to NICTA, "The opportunity for collaboration developed through introductions and a series of discussions in both Australia and Japan over the past year, coordinated and supported closely by Austrade's Japanese and Australian offices.

"The proposed joint research will contribute to the development of partnerships between Japan and Australia in the emerging global smart infrastructure business and build the infrastructure export capabilities of both nations."

Nomura Research Institute was set up in 1965 as Japan's first private-sector think tank. It acquired a system development function after merging with Nomura Computer Systems in 1988.

Its two main businesses are consulting knowledge services (corporate management reform, policy advice, and asset management) and system solutions and services (system integration, outsourcing, and system resource sharing), both claim to offer "a total solution from identifying problems through to solving them."

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