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The University of Tasmania is a national leader in industry-led research. We have a proven track record of working with industry and government in defence and related fields to devise innovative technology-enabled solutions for a global stage. The University works closely with over 400 industry and business partners and has contributed over $500 million of benefits to local industry. A particular focus of the University has been the development, assessment and commercialisation of new technologies to be deployed in challenging environments to explore, inform, and protect natural assets and human capital.

Smart Sensors for Security Applications

An innovative explosive detection technology developed by the Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science (ACROSS) at the University of Tasmania has enabled the rapid detection of trace levels of explosives. The technology underpins the first instrumentation in the world to detect inorganic explosives, overcoming the limitation of existing screening techniques that struggle to detect these materials.

The technology was invented by a team from the University’s College of Sciences and Engineering with funding from agencies including the National Security Science and Technology Centre and the US Department of Homeland Security.

The University licensed the technology to Grey-Scan, the specialist vehicle created by the Melbourne-based technology commercialisation firm Grey Innovation. Grey-Scan is now working with the largest security agencies in the world to make the technology the new global standard for inorganic explosive detection.

Building Smart Communities

With the development of IoT enabled networks and low cost sensor hardware it is now possible to create smart communities at scales both small and large. The University of Tasmania has adopted a smart applications-based approach to investigating human movement and behaviours in open environments. Tourism Tracer, the largest project of its type in the world, is also one of the most innovative and extensive research projects ever conducted into human travel dynamics using tourists as a model system. The Tourist Tracking Project used smartphones and a novel app, to gather unprecedented insights into where groups of visitors go, how they move around, and what influences their decisions. For the first time, travel patterns have been mapped according to age, country of origin, duration of stay, reason for travel, etc., generating detailed information on how long individuals and groups engage with specific sites, traverse specific physical locations and navigate social places. Already significant value and impact has been secured for government, industry and community as a result of this unique, whole of island initiative.

Next-generation Hybrid Autonomous Vehicles

The University has invested in robotics and created a specialist marine technology hub to build next-generation hybrid autonomous vehicles capable of exploring a range of environments.

One key objective is to explore the Antarctic and Southern Ocean depths and the $24 million ARC Antarctic Gateway Partnership supports this research programme. The partnership involves the employment of forty young researchers and technicians working with senior scientists at the largest Southern Hemisphere Antarctic and oceans research hub.

The University has joined with key industry specialists and international research agencies to create this unique facility and attract new investment into Tasmania. The state-of-the-art AUVs enable a broad range of scientific, industry and defence related projects by facilitating exploration and data collection in remote and inhospitable locations.

New AUV facility to help drive the robotic age of Antarctic exploration