National ICT Australia establishes Victorian node

National ICT Australia (NICTA) and the University of Melbourne have announced a $50 million-plus agreement with the Victorian government for a NICTA node in the state.

NICTA is a national laboratory with a charter to build Australia’s pre-eminent centre of excellence for information and communication technology.

The node, already in operation at the University of Melbourne, will make an in-kind and case contribution of up to $20 million over five years, with NICTA planning to invest $25 million in that same period.

The Victorian government has also promised to contribute $8 million to the research centre.

The organization aims to build the Victorian node into a fully operational ICT research facility with more than 80 researchers and PhD students by the end of 2006.

NICTA chairman Neville Roach believes the announcement demonstrates NICTA’s mission to become a truly national institution.

“The University of Melbourne has world-class ICT research talent, particularly in the areas of optical networking and sensor technologies. The addition of this exceptional research expertise further strengthens NICTA’s research agenda and ability to deliver significant economic impact for Victoria and Australia,” Roach said.

The node’s initial program will be closely linked to the Australian Research Council’s Special Centre for Ultra Broadband Information Networks (Cubin), with other programs including research into sensor networks, networking technologies, information processing and network management.

The Victorian node will be headed by University of Melbourne department of electrical and electronic engineering professor Rob Evans.

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