The focus of the Networked Society Institute (NSI) was on facilitating new research projects that explored the impact and harnessed the potential of the increasing interconnection of people, places and things. The aim was always to ensure the networked society delivers a positive social impact to the whole community.
From the beginning, the research sought to both address the challenges and realise the opportunities of the networked society - a goal requiring a diversity of knowledge, practical expertise and experience. This was achieved through nurturing new collaborations and establishing interdisciplinary teams to work on innovative research projects.
The Institute comprised a diverse community interested in realising the networked society. Its Lab was at the heart of the Institute providing technical leadership and research expertise to develop and apply new technologies to diverse domains.
With an open approach to partnerships and collaborations, the Institute actively engaged with researchers, industry, governments and not-for-profits across Victoria, Australia and the rest of the world.
NSI Director, Professor Thas Nirmalathas, and his predecessor Professor Rod Tucker (as Director of IBES), provided outstanding leadership, and built rich engagement with the exceptional talent across the academity and with external thought leaders. Their leadership has positioned the University to leverage the opportunities that digital, networked and automated technologies offer for research.
The work of the Networked Society Institute and the earlier work of its predecessor the Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society, has furthered the University's capacity to undertake innovative interdisciplinary research, partnerships and industry engagement.
The Institute delivered many positive impacts across society, particularly in the health and education domains. The Institute's interdisciplinary model helped shape much of the University's current thinking on research collaboration, and its ability to leverage the University's research strengths has been of enormous benefit.
Through the spirit of collaboration and a commitment to building effective partnerships, the Networked Society Institute generated a strong return on investment and made a powerful impact on the local and global research landscape.
Collaborating with others
The Institute was outwardly facing, actively collaborating with industry and community. The Institute established the Industry Partner Program with leading technology companies who provided funding, expertise and equipment. The program allowed for deep collaboration with these companies; it enabled access to the latest and greatest rolling off the production line to ensure that innovation occurred at the bleeding, and not simply, the leading edge.
The Institute nurtured research to ensure that outcomes created a tangible benefit. Its impact was evidence through the way that its seed funding proved the catalyst for continuing bodies of research that explored the essential elements of what the networked society means to humanity. Many projects obtained further external funding to continue their research, while the Institute also ensured that its project stories were shared across of range of mediums.
You may read more here about the Institute, its people, programs, and impacts -
And the Institute's Annual Reports (2010-2018) provide a comprehensive view of its programs and contribution to the University's interdisciplinary research landscape.