New data science innovation hub in WA

| August 14, 2018
The McGowan Government has unveiled plans for its third innovation hub, to provide training and develop skills for Western Australians to take on WA jobs in the rapidly growing field of data science.

The WA Data Science Innovation Hub will be run in collaboration with Curtin University and run across Curtin’s Perth and Bentley sites to ensure maximum engagement with industry. It will be officially launched next month with an industry event.

The State Government is providing $800,000 over four years, through the $16.7 million New Industries Fund, for a Business Connector to manage the hub and Curtin University is also providing $800,000 towards the hub over four years.

The hub will provide access to specialised data science capabilities in universities and trained graduates, upskilling programs for industry, the translation of data science capabilities from the resources sector to emerging sectors, and promote the value of data science in WA.

Industry and stakeholders in the data science community were consulted on the innovation hub to ensure the innovation hub supports WA jobs and benefits the WA economy.

The announcement comes during National Science Week (August 11-19) which aims to encourage an interest in science pursuits among the general public, and acknowledge the work of Australian scientists.

The state’s innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly said “There is real potential to create and support jobs by harnessing the increasing availability of large volumes of data in WA to grow our existing industries.

“To create these WA jobs, we need to provide practical training and develop the skills needed to meet the challenges in this burgeoning field – this is exactly what the McGowan Government’s third innovation hub will do.

“It will also build on the data science capabilities currently being developed as a result of investments in the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, the Square Kilometre Array, Innovation Central Perth and the Curtin Institute for Computation.”

The State’s Chief Scientist, Peter Klinken agreed that “Data science is extremely important to WA’s economic development and jobs growth. It underpins a number of sectors in WA including mining and energy, life sciences, agri-tech, defence, space and new technology businesses.

“I am excited about this collaborative arrangement, and I am convinced it will drive activity and growth in key sectors critical to the State’s future growth.”