University to co-lead Connectivity Innovation Network

24 November 2021
Collaboration to build state's public safety network
The NSW Government has announced that the University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney will lead the establishment of the state's Connectivity Innovation Network.

Developed by the NSW Telco Authority in consultation with the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, the network will bring together researchers, industry and government agencies to solve connectivity challenges and deliver improved outcomes for citizens.

University of Sydney Connectivity Innovation Network co-director, Professor Joe Zhu and Technical co-director Professor Yonghui Li welcomed the collaborative approach, believing the knowledge share will lead to better telecommunications outcomes in Australia.

"Both the University of Sydney and UTS have long led in telecommunications expertise and research, with a proven track record in R&D and industry engagement," said Professor Yonghui Li.

UTS Co-Director Professor Ian Opperman said: “Given the location of both institutions in Tech Central, the Connectivity Innovation Network will have its roots within one of the NSW Government’s lighthouse precincts, meaning close proximity to existing collaborations between government, industry and research institutions.”

NSW Telco Authority Managing Director Kylie De Courteney said the network would promote greater collaboration and foster innovation to adapt to connectivity challenges.

“The Connectivity Innovation Network will connect NSW Government agencies to specialists in our universities, research institutes and industry who have the skills and expertise to solve connectivity challenges,” Ms De Courteney said.

“Led by UTS and the University of Sydney, the network will focus on finding innovative research solutions to statewide connectivity challenges such as power resilience, ubiquitous connectivity, sensors, network and cyber automation.

“Delivering improved connectivity has the potential to reduce the digital divide for regional and remote citizens and businesses and provide emergency services organisations with critical communications across the state.”

NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte welcomed the announcement.

“The Connectivity Innovation Network joins the NSW Smart Sensing Network, Defence Innovation Network, NSW Circular and the NSW Space Research Network as the latest NSW Government initiative driving collaboration between research, government and industry to solve real-world problems,” Professor Durrant-Whyte said.

“Addressing connectivity challenges will bring benefits across NSW and collaboration between its members will enhance access to best practice solutions across government.”


NSW Telco Authority (NSWTA) is responsible for the Public Safety Network (PSN). Next to Australia’s triple zero emergency hotline, the PSN is the most important critical communications network in NSW, and one of the largest of its type in the world.

The agency also coordinates and aligns whole-of-government connectivity programs and priorities to provide better mobile coverage and drive improved connectivity outcomes for the state. The appointment of the University of Sydney and UTS to jointly lead the network followed a Request for Proposal conducted in 2021.

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