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Launch of CampusNet, Wollongong, 10 August 2000



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Senator Nick Minchin, Minister for Industry, Science and Resources Launch of CampusNet, Wollongong 10th August 2000

Pleasure to be here today at one of Australia's leading research universities to officially launch CampusNet   

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I have had a very interesting morning and it is clear why Wollongong University is the centre of expertise for information technology and telecommunications here in NSW

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Congratulations to all those involved in the development of CampusNet-Wollongong University and Nortel Networks. ●

 

Today's event encapsulates so much of what we want and need in Australia today.    Research and development co-operation between the research sector and industry to develop leading edge communications with enormous potential. 

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Last year we held the National Innovation Summit in Melbourne to discuss how we can improve Australia's innovation performance. ISIG reporting at end of month 

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One of the most memorable comments was a businessman who said how great it was to see so many Vice-Chancellors present 

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He observed that you wouldn't have seen any at such a gathering 10 years ago  ●

Innovation Summit identified critical importance of collaboration between industry, universities and researchers  ●

Gone are the days when university research could be conducted in splendid isolation unsullied by any thought of economic benefits that could accrue from research. 

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The work here between Wollongong University and Nortel is encouraging   ●

Both have excellent credentials and a strong background of R&D in Australia.  ●

Uni of Wollongong has built an outstanding reputation for R&D partnership, a fact recently acknowledged through the joint award, of University of the Year for having Australia's most Outstanding Research and Development Partnerships. 

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Nortel is recognised as having one of the biggest R&D centres in the Southern Hemisphere.  ●

CampusNet represents the next generation in a fast paced, ●

competitive industry  The research being conducted here in wireless communications is exciting for a number of reasons:  ●

First, it is leading edge research - ensuring that Australia continues to play a key role in the new age.  ●

Secondly, the potential of this technology is great, particularly for regional Australians.  ●

Wireless telecommunications will in the future help erode further the tyranny of distance by connecting Australians to the Internet in a cheaper and less infrastructure-intensive way. 

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Thirdly, it represents innovation not only in the technological sense, but it will revolutionise the way students at Wollongong university learn. 

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It's innovation that challenges the traditional process -students will be able to access lecture notes almost anywhere on the campus with laptops - a far cry from my undergraduate days. 

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And lastly, and perhaps most importantly and as I have already mentioned it's about the collaboration between industry and the research sector, particular universities. 

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Our success as a nation will increasingly depend on the capacity and willingness of universities and industry to collaborate in research development and commercialisation. 

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CRCs are a successful government initiative that also foster co-operation. Wollongong University is a strong partner in many ranging from health, to manufacturing and of course, IT. 

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CRCs play a significant role in the Government's push for increased commercialisation and innovation in Australia.   ●

They bring together government, industry and science to undertake collaborative research programs for the economic and social benefit of all Australians. 

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Our commitment to the CRCs in dollar terms is around $140m per year (or $5.8b across all sectors since the program's inception). 

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Our spending on innovation and science is a record $4.5 billion for this financial year.  ●

But our commitment to innovation and partnership goes well beyond any dollar figure; it's an ongoing commitment to the future and a culture of innovation. 

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All here today obviously share that commitment and CampusNet is an excellent example of what can be achieved. 

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I congratulate Nortel and the University of Wollongong for their valuable partnership.  ●

I have much pleasure in officially launching CampusNet. ●

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