Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Australia opens laboratory to develop transport and logistics technologies

Steve Rogerson
June 18, 2015
 
Nicta, Australia’s national information technology research organisation, has opened a laboratory in Sydney to develop transport and logistics technologies. The Transport & Logistics Living Lab (Talll) comprises a cluster of people who want to work together to make transport and logistics as good as it can be.
 
The Talll has supply chain process prototypes in a demonstration space providing a central location for collaboration between industry and Nicta’s researchers, IT providers, universities, government and regulators, to shape the future of transport and logistics through industry-led projects.
 
“This is the fifth knowledge hub to receive NSW Government support with an investment of $1.7m over two years,” said Victor Dominello, minister for innovation and better regulation, at the official opening. “Bringing together government and industry is key to promoting digital innovation and the Transport & Logistics Living Lab, along with the existing knowledge hubs, will do just that.”
 
Building on the success of Nicta’s former logistics cluster, Talll has a membership of more than 50 industry participants, including large and small businesses and research and industry associations such as the CSIRO, the Australian Federation of International Forwarders (AFIF), the Export Council of Australia, the Australian Logistics Council (ALC), and NSW Government, including the Transport for NSW.
 
“The lab will facilitate the connection of a diverse and fragmented transport and logistics industry to bring innovation and best-practice adoption into the sector across high impact factors such as optimisation, information exchange, visibility, traceability, quality assurance and security,” said Nicta’s Talll leader Neil Temperley.
 
The Australia Logistics Council has estimated that every one per cent of improvement in the productivity of the logistics sector alone equates to $2bn increase in GDP, he said.
 
“If we extrapolate our experience working with supply chain improvement in Australian companies, we believe we can easily achieve that in a collaborative environment,” said Temperley. “The new Transport & Logistics Living Lab will also encourage open discussion into how we can implement new approaches to move goods and people more effectively. This is important since as demand grows, people and goods increasingly compete for access to the same resources such as roads and rail. By working together and using cutting-edge technologies we can get the most out of limited and constrained infrastructure and thereby keep congestion to a minimum. Our overall focus is to use technology to drive productivity, lower costs, reduce emissions and improve safety.”
 
Ian Murray, deputy chairman of the Australian Logistics Council, said: “You only have to look at the amount of money being invested in developing infrastructure by every government across Australia to see how important the movement of goods is to this country. Every household, hospital, school and business is dependent upon an efficient system of delivering what they want when they want it, at the right price. Even more important is the need for Australia to be competitive internationally in the supply of products to overseas markets. I am convinced that continuing investment in innovation in the supply chain is critical to Australia’s long-term future, particularly in the movement of high value, high quality food to the ever increasing middle-class in Asia. This new facility has an important role to play in working with industry to ensure Australia uses world’s best practice to meet the ever increasing demands of domestic and international business opportunities.”
 
Theo Triantafillides, general manager at StarTrack, added: “Thanks to the booming e-commerce market, parcel delivery has seen enormous growth worldwide. Now more than ever, there is a need for industry to collaborate and plan for future volume growth that is only set to rise. At StarTrack, our focus has always been about providing world-class supply chain and parcel delivery for local, international and online businesses, and we are excited with the prospect of being able to work with Nicta and other players in the local industry to identify new ways to optimise our network to make parcel delivery even more efficient.”
 
Connexxion is one of the small businesses that have recently joined the hub. “As a developer of innovative systems to improve the commodity (grain) market from paddock to plate, it’s not easy for small businesses like mine to get a leg up in the industry,” said CEO Graeme Harrison-Browne. “I welcome this amazing opportunity to collaborate with some reputable names in transport and logistics and work with a world-class organisation like Nicta to help me grow my technology business.”
 
The Talll is at Nicta’s headquarters in the Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh. It is one of five knowledge hubs in NSW aimed at driving growth through collaborative industry partnerships in key sectors in NSW and the national economy. It is supported by the NSW government.