The University of Canberra is looking to work with industry and education partners to tackle “some of the nation’s most pressing challenges related to cybersecurity and digital adoption” as part of a new partnership with Cisco.

Cisco and the University of Canberra (UC) today announced a partnership which has a major focus on defence and critical infrastructure. They aim to allow companies to experiment with new technologies, collaborate on applied research and to address forecast cyber security skills shortages.

The partners have established the Innovation Central Canberra hub for industry and government to validate cybersecurity technologies, develop prototypes and de-risk the adoption process.

“The University of Canberra is looking forward to working with Cisco and other industry and education partners to tackle some of the nation’s most pressing challenges related to cybersecurity, and digital adoption more broadly,” University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Professor Paddy Nixon stated.

“Improving Australia’s cyber resilience will require action on many fronts: industry-driven research, applied innovation, and a focus on meeting current and future demand for specialist skills,” Nixon added.

The centre will be the sixth in a national network of Cisco innovation centres co-located on university campuses.

The partnership will mean the expansion of the National Industry Innovation Network (NIIN), an alliance of companies and universities that examine how digital opportunities can improve Australia’s economic and social challenges. 

Cisco has also expanded its Networking Academy to the university.

The University and Innovation Central Canberra will also join the National Industry Innovation Network.

A new joint Research Chair in Critical Infrastructure and Defence position will focus on applied research related to cybersecurity across several industries including defence. This position will also be integrated into the NIIN and benefit from Cisco’s global partnerships and capabilities.

Cisco is investing in strategic partnerships with universities “to accelerate the adoption of technology and address major risks to the Australian economy and society,” stated Cisco ANZ Vice President Ben Dawson.

The protection of data and infrastructure should be a national priority, Dawson stated, acknowledging the significant role Canberra plays in cybersecurity and defence policy, skills and operations.