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Data analytics lab with world’s number one university

Posted July 10, 2019

Artist’s impression of the public realm at Lot Fourteen’s piazza

The world’s highest ranked university is coming to Adelaide’s Lot Fourteen innovation neighbourhood, under an agreement announced today by Premier Steven Marshall.

The Premier said the State Government had entered into an agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to collaborate on the development of a Living Lab at Lot Fourteen.

The Living Lab will bring together the public, private and research sectors to analyse big data to determine the most effective ways for South Australia to drive both economic and sustainable population growth.

MIT Living Labs have been established in New York, Beijing and Istanbul, meaning South Australia is now well placed to lead the world in the analysis of big data.

The Living Lab is enabled by principal partner BankSA and supported by technology partner Optus Business.

Its location at Lot Fourteen means those working in the Living Lab will have unparalleled access to businesses across a range of high-growth and high-tech industries.

Premier Steven Marshall said the collaboration with MIT bolstered South Australia’s position as a new global hub for entrepreneurship and innovation.

“The Living Lab means local researchers will have access to invaluable data to identify how we can drive sustainable population growth, create jobs and strengthen our economy,” said Premier Steven Marshall.

“This Australian-first collaboration is a real game-changer for South Australia and will help us build a stronger and more prosperous economy that allows, and encourages, young people with ideas to stay here and pursue them.”

Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT, Professor Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, said the new technology used in Living Labs gave researchers a more complete view of life in all its complexity.

“We identified Adelaide early on as the prime location for a Living Lab in Australia and the broader region due to its leadership in data analytics and machine learning,” Professor Pentland said.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, David Ridgway, welcomed the MIT Living Lab at Lot Fourteen as a “vital tool” in the state’s drive for positive economic and jobs growth.

“Lot Fourteen is the perfect location for a Living Lab — it’s a place where entrepreneurs, investors, businesses, global industries, universities and other leading research institutions come together to share ideas and collaborate to invest in the innovation economy,” he said.

“The Living Lab will further enrich this great site and enable learnings to be rapidly shared and highly effective networks to operate in a seamless physical and digital environment.”

BankSA Chief Executive Nick Reade said the Living Lab formed part of the bank’s strategy to be a catalyst for economic growth in the state.

“We need to identify the right interventions to help our economy grow and the power in the Living Lab lies in being able to pinpoint what the roadblocks are, and generate valuable insights to propel the State forward,” he said.

Mr Reade said the detailed knowledge that was emerging from these Living Labs around the world was providing governments with an information base to help improve policies and initiatives for the prosperity of their communities.

Optus Business Acting Managing Director Simon Vatcher said collaboration was key to capturing the full potential of investment.

“The Living Lab Project brings together like-minded organisations so that the perspective of government, academia, corporates and start-ups can be considered,” he said.

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