Tuesday, 26 March 2019 11:27

Dimension Data, NTT collaborating on Australian, Japan research into health of ageing population

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From left to right: Katsuhiko Kawazoe, NTT, Steve Nola, Dimension Data Australia, Prof, Deborah Sweeney, Western Sydney University, Prof. Julie Owens, Deakin University. From left to right: Katsuhiko Kawazoe, NTT, Steve Nola, Dimension Data Australia, Prof, Deborah Sweeney, Western Sydney University, Prof. Julie Owens, Deakin University.

Global ICT solutions and services provider Dimension Data and Japanese telco NTT have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Australia’s Deakin University and Western Sydney University to collaborate on research projects, including a focus on the health of the ageing.

The research projects will focus on solving social challenges that are common between Australia and Japan, and the “joint-vision partnership” is the first time NTT has entered into an agreement of this nature with research institutions outside Japan.

Under the agreement, all parties say they will start working together to develop and implement innovative solutions to improve the lives, health and well-being of citizens.

The MOU was officially signed at a ceremony at Dimension Data’s Australian headquarters in Darling Park, Sydney and attended by representatives from all parties including Katsuhiko Kawazoe, senior vice-president, head of Research and Development Planning at NTT; Steve Nola, chief executive of Dimension Data Australia; Julie Owens, deputy vice-chancellor, Research at Deakin University, and Deborah Sweeney, deputy vice-chancellor and vice-president, Research and Innovation at WSU.

Dimension Data and NTT say the emphasis on healthcare, disability and ageing is influenced by the ageing populations in both Australia and Japan and the challenges this poses for society as a whole.

The companies say Japanese societal transformation plan, "Society 5.0", has inspired the MOU and explores how the development and access to disruptive technologies, such as connected healthcare can transform and improve society.

“This partnership provides a framework for Australia and Japan to drive the creation and commercialisation of technologies and solutions to address real-world issues such as the needs of the disabled and those of an ageing population,” the companies note.

Dimension Data and NTT say that in order to realise this vision, several joint research projects will be established and will commence in the next 12 months. The projects include research and development into communication between dementia patients, their family and other caregivers, as well as research and development on smart homes to ensure a safe and secure life for the elderly and the disabled.

Kawazoe said, “This MOU is testament to the strong bonds forged between Australia and Japan, and demonstrates our commitment to the transference of knowledge between our two markets. It represents another chapter in our ongoing partnership with Dimension Data, Deakin University, and WSU to create solutions and applications that will help our societies grow and prosper.”

“The missing piece of Australia's innovation puzzle is often identified as the strategic collaboration between universities and the business community,” Nola said.

“This MOU is a significant step towards preserving Australia’s economic future. The collaboration between business and academia drives knowledge exchange and innovation, and that innovation is what underpins economic and societal growth. This co-innovation partnership deepens our relationship with two of Australia’s leading universities and enable us to commercialise cutting- edge solutions which will help Australian businesses solve fundamental problems and create new value for years to come.”

Professor Owens said, “Deakin has been working closely with Dimension Data for several years, and we are excited to now extend that partnership to NTT. Our strong engagement with one of the world’s most significant technology companies, gives confidence that we can open up new technologies to change how aged care is delivered in Australia and Japan and have a genuine impact on the communities we serve.”

Professor Sweeney said, “Western is committed that its research will have real impact and deliver tangible health outcomes for the benefit of the community. The applied, translational, end-user focus of our researchers perfectly complements the world leading tech capabilities of our partners. This collaborative model exemplifies Western’s commitment to partnerships, we’re extremely excited at the prospect of what our joint initiative will achieve.”

Last year, delegates from Deakin University and WSU participated in the NTT R&D Forum in Tokyo, with the R&D Forum serving as the annual proving ground for NTT’s “breakthrough technologies” and providing an opportunity to introduce next-generation innovations to NTT’s customers, partners and employees.

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