Australia invests in iMOVE intelligent transport research center


Australia’s position as one of the global leaders in transport technology has received a boost with the announcement that the Federal Government has today provided funding for a new intelligent transport cooperative research center (CRC).

The Australian Government has awarded the iMOVE CRC a A$55m (US$41.6m) grant for a 10-year research and development project. The funding was announced by senator Arthur Sinodinos, the country’s Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, following an 18-month consultation and bidding process. ITS Australia, the national body for the country’s intelligent transport systems (ITS) industry and host of last year’s successful ITS World Congress, is one of 46 iMOVE CRC consortium members. The organization has just released an in-depth review of the Australian ITS industry, identifying short, medium and long term opportunities to make journeys safer, more efficient and sustainable.

The iMOVE CRC consortium members include industry, state road authorities, federal and state government departments, and industry associations. In its Prospectus, iMOVE CRC said the progressive deployment of ITS technology will drive higher levels of productivity within the Australian transport system, benefiting many aspects of the broader economy. The consortium’s members are experiencing a rapid interest for next-generation products based on higher levels of connectivity, bigger data, and lower costs, which will enhance users’ travel experiences with richer, real-time data, and more predictive analysis.

“We are excited to finally receive the green light,” said iMOVE bid leader, Ian Christensen. “We know that many participants in the CRC are eager to start their projects. We have plans to accelerate the CRC formation processes and hope to formally commence operations on July 1. In the interim we will be meeting with our partners to get them started on their preparations, so as to ensure a quick and effective start to our activities. The center is ready to tackle the task of improving Australia’s transport system by harnessing skills and technology. Australia has many unique qualities and our transport system is central to industry, agriculture, business, and lifestyle choices. Efficiency of movement for people and goods is key to productivity and prosperity, and the digital revolution creates opportunities to utilize big data analytics and rapidly advancing technology to address complex public, private and freight transport. We are confident that with the support of the federal government, consortium partners and industry, iMOVE CRC will deliver world class research for the benefit of all transport users.”

ITS Australia’s CEO, Susan Harris, said the announcement highlights Australia’s desire to enhance technology to improve the liveability of its cities and communities. “Australia is a global leader in transport technology and the local industry is further strengthened by the government’s support for the research center. It is important to keep the impetus going from the World Congress,” noted Harris. “Now the establishment of a national research and development center will continue the momentum to support the delivery of transformative transport for Australia. The country has the collective skills and experience to continue to drive innovation and initiatives to improve connectivity and mobility.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).