Telstra on Wednesday unveiled a multi-million dollar, five year program which will see it work with NCITA on technology projects in areas such as security, privacy, smart network planning and media delivery.
Under the Telstra Research Partnership Program, the telco also plans to work with Deakin University, the George Institute, and the University of Technology in Sydney, on research projects.
Around $1.1 million is being spent on projects in the first year and funds will be allocated on a project-by-project basis for the following years under the agreements, Telstra said.
“All of the projects have specific deliverables that have been agreed with our partners and each of the projects is jointly funded by Telstra and our research partners,” a Telstra spokesperson said.
“The program is governed by a cross-company team of executives led by our chief technology officer to ensure independence and highest quality outcomes.”
Telstra said there are six areas of interest under the program: cyber security, software engineering, data analytics and machine learning, health technology, wireless engineering, and design thinking.
The new program is a shot in the arm for NICTA after the Coalition government last month announced it was ending financial support for the organisation from June 2016.
It adds to Telstra’s innovation agenda, which includes an in-house platform for crowd-sourced innovation; the muru-D incubator for start-ups; and the Telstra Ventures Group, a corporate venture capital group established in 2011.
In a statement, Telstra COO, Kate McKenzie, said the program was designed to explore opportunities flowing from technology advances and cutting-edge research that could benefit Telstra and its customers.
“We wanted to expand the breadth and depth of our relationships with research institutes over time to ensure the highest quality outcomes,” said McKenzie.
“Part of the work with NICTA relates to parts of our business that are of great importance to Australia and our customers. We want to gain further insights into the growing demand on our networks and how that can further inform our overall network strategy and investment approach,” McKenzie said.
“We’re also looking at the security and privacy of the data our customers entrust in Telstra and exploring future products and services that can give customers more control over how their data is used.”