Torrens University's role in Australia's tech transformation

SummerTech LIVE program

Showcasing Torrens University's innovation in technology education and industry collaboration through Victoria’s government initiative.

Torrens University is proud to announce a strategic partnership through a Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry initiative aiming to bridge the gap between emerging technologies and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Australia and emphasise the integration of artificial intelligence into practical applications.

Torrens University welcomes Victorian government’s SummerTech LIVE program

Recognising the need to propel Australian businesses forward in the realm of technology, the Australian government initiated a program through the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry called 2023-2024 SummerTech LIVE. The program allocated funds to kickstart small projects within SMEs with the goal to empower businesses to leverage AI, IT, and virtual reality to enhance their operations.

Torrens University seized the opportunity to showcase its expertise and programs in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Information Technology (IT), and virtual reality, and successfully secured projects that partnered students with companies spanning diverse industries, including sustainability, education, real estate, and multimedia.

The initiative includes financial support provided to participating students through a $10,000 scholarship for each project.

Associate Professor and AIRO Centre Director Tony Jan expressed his enthusiasm not only for the financial support received for each project but also for the quality and relevance of the projects themselves.

“Each project uniquely highlights the real-world applicability of our teachings in artificial intelligence and information technology and emphasises the alignment of the curriculum with industry demands,” said Associate Professor Jan.

“This collaboration showcases a mutual commitment to connect academia and industry and provides students with hands-on experience in cutting-edge AI projects while addressing real-world challenges,” said Darryn Melrose, Chief Marketing Officer & Industry Partnerships, Torrens University.

“The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry initiative serves as a pivotal step toward aligning education with industry needs and also acknowledges that what we are teaching is very much relevant to what the industry needs right now,” said Mr Melrose.

An opportunity for artificial intelligence and information technology transformation in Australia

These remarkable projects were initiated by companies seeking collaboration with Torrens University's IT and engineering students, with 16 students split into teams of 2, with each student receiving $5000.

These include a project aimed to automate the process of changing addresses when moving homes involving the creation of chatbots for customer interactions, and a project building a 3D virtual reality model to educate swimming students about water safety, specifically the dangers of rip currents.

Further diverse projects include an education company's initiative to implement game-centric learning systems using virtual reality and artificial intelligence, and another underscoring the importance of human-centric recommendations in a project from a company akin to a smaller version of Netflix. The goal is to enhance user experience by leveraging AI, automation, and software programming to provide personalised content suggestions.

Expressing pride in Torrens University's achievements, Professor Scott Thompson-Whiteside, Executive Dean, Design and Creative Technology, Torrens University Australia, mentioned that the recognition from external entities, such as the Victorian Chamber of Commerce, indicates the university's advanced standing in the fields of IT, software engineering, and artificial intelligence. It also highlights the ability of our students to develop practical solutions aligned to industry needs.

Commitment to bridging the gap between education and industry needs for technology

The innovative projects discussed exemplify the practical and hands-on experience that students gain, positioning them as valuable contributors to the ever-evolving technological landscape. As Torrens University continues to forge strong ties with industries, it is poised to play a crucial role in shaping the future of technology education and innovation in Australia.

Associate Professor Jan anticipates future collaborations, indicating a positive relationship with the clients and potential trust from the Victorian Chamber of Commerce.

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