Swinburne University of Technology has launched a first-of-its-kind innovation centre that will use cloud technologies to drive social good and solve real-world health, wellbeing, and social challenges affecting Australians.
The university’s new Data for Social Good Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC), located in Swinburne’s Innovation Precinct at its Hawthorn campus in Melbourne, will leverage the expertise of the university’s research institutes, which specialise in health, social innovation and ‘smart cities’.
The CIC is the latest addition to a global network of centres powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that share the company’s expertise and the solutions to the innovation challenges that address the public sector digital revolution globally.
Similar initiatives worldwide include the California Polytechnic University Digital Transformation Hub, the Busan-Amazon CIC in Busan, Korea and the SciencesPo Public Innovation Lab in Paris.
Professor Aleksandar Subic, Swinburne’s deputy vice-chancellor for research and development, said the CIC also intends to work with Swinburne’s Social Innovation Research Institute, which is helping the community, social, and government sectors to prepare for the challenges emerging from increased digitisation and automation.
“Through our Health Innovation Research Institute, we are developing data-driven digital health systems for improved health care, and seek to improve health literacy and patient-centric support through personalised health care solutions,” he said.
For example, through the CIC, Swinburne aspires to develop intelligent data-based digital health programs and mobile solutions for the management of chronic diseases such as diabetes.
This would incorporate tailored, real-time advice and support to individuals around lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise, and provide guidance on medication. Such solutions would reduce the burden on patients and service providers, and provide efficient therapeutic decision-making at a reduced cost, particularly for elderly members of the community living in rural and remote areas.
The CIC also intends to work with Swinburne’s Social Innovation Research Institute, which is helping the community, social, and government sectors to prepare for the challenges emerging from increased digitisation and automation.
“We are interested in how neighborhood-level data can be used to improve the transparency and efficacy of local decision making,” Professor Subic said.
“By providing a means of sharing relevant and timely data regarding issues that are of local importance, such as transport, employment, human services, and child welfare, communities can make consensus decisions and monitor the outcomes.”
Professor Subic said this enables residents to be more engaged in improving their neighbourhoods.
“We are trialling such solutions with our partners involving data-based mapping of urban environments, which can also be used to make strategic decisions about improvements in business innovation, education, and health services,” he said.
Vincent Quah, APAC regional head for education, research, and not-for-profit at AWS’, worldwide public sector, said the CIC will address some of Australia’s biggest social challenges by using AWS Cloud technology.
“It will pave the way for Australian organisations to work with leading education institutions like Swinburne to leverage data to create economic and social impact, transforming how the industry works to solve critical issues,” Quah said.