Researchers at the SMART Infrastructure Facility have welcomed the announcement of two grants for projects totalling more than $1 million.

Round Two of the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program will breathe life into 32 projects with more than $21 million of Coalition funds.

Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said many of the projects will collect valuable, sensor based data that, once analysed, could mean sharing the projects nationally, and internationally.

SMART researchers will work on two of those projects, the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Smart Water Management ($478,449) and the Western Sydney Parkland City Sensor Network Project, ($700,000).

The Illawarra-Shoalhaven Smart Water Management will deliver a network of data sensors that can provide real time flood risk information during extreme weather.

Over the past 50 years the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region has experienced 30 floods classified as serious, severe or very severe and three classified as extreme.

Wollongong City Council Lord Mayor, Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said technology could transform the ability to predict and mitigated increasing flooding.

“This is very exciting news for a cutting-edge project that focuses on the development and deployment of smart sensor technologies and software.’’

“It’s fitting this funding announcement comes just months after Wollongong marked the 20th anniversary of the 1998 floods. This event damaged more than 1,000 homes and changed the way Wollongong City Council managed flood-prone areas, our planning controls and saw us develop and pioneer new infrastructure to direct and manage rainfall.”

“The funding of this exciting joint initiative allows our city’s experts to collaboratively take the next step and develop technologies that could, potentially, be rolled out across Australia and internationally.”

SMART director Senior Professor Pascal Perez said, “This is just another example of how the Illawarra is at the forefront of the smart cities revolution.

“This will add to a number of innovative projects that we are already hosting, thanks to the Digital Living Lab and the partnership with local government, industry and the community.”

The Western Sydney Parkland City Sensor Network Project deploys a shared, scalable sensing network across the eight local government council partners in the Western Sydney City Deal, known as Western Parkland City.

A network of sensors will be installed that will be used to reduce congestion and for the more efficient use of lighting and irrigation in public areas.

The network will connect to the Internet of Things, enabling data sharing to enhance place-based planning and communication with citizens of the Western Parkland City.

It will use public domain and environmental sensors to establish the network spine, enhancing development of tools for data sharing and data analytics, and digital governance protocols.

Project leader, Wollondilly Mayor Judith Hannan said, “This is a great demonstration of the collaboration between eight Councils and the University of Wollongong.

“The SMART Infrastructure Facility has a unique set of skills that allows us to help our project partners at each stage of the deployment. SMART researchers will help with the testing and prototyping of fit-for-purpose sensors, of the Western Sydney City Deal.

“They will also help with data processing, data analytics and visualisation.”

SMART director Senior Professor Pascal Perez welcomed the grants and said that they were further confirmation of the Facility’s research at the forefront of the Internet of Things.

“We have proved again that if you want to make your cities smarter, and more liveable, then our researchers can find innovative ways to help you do that,” he said.

“We have shown that through our Digital Living Lab in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, the Smart Pedestrian Project in Liverpool, and now with these two projects funded by the Federal Government.”


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