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Linking up with Universities - Topics for Research

One of the discussion points I seem to have with colleagues is how we can work smarter with researchers and what challenges could we promote (including data) that would allow a student to generate a project and work smarter with Government agencies.

I know we are looking at predictive asset management, land monitoring (remote), and infrastructure planning and delivery alignment which all require a view of infrastructure (planned and existing) as well as other information that helps understand impacts.

Has anyone had any experience with providing data to universities and forming research projects? Could this forum be used to help provide topics to universities and then delve into the data that is required?

Interested in everyone’s view on this.

Data WA provides the infrastructure to share data, and as you suggested Darren, the forum could assist in providing topics. We may even realise that we have challenges in common. In most cases data from multiple agencies are needed. It is becoming normal practice to work across government on delivering projects. Some cross sector visibility is perhaps the first step towards linking the willing researchers with government projects.

One of the challenges for Data WA is understanding what useful data to source. This is not a simple method of selecting from a list but informed by the complexities of delivering government services.
The challenge is as you say, to work smarter and better coordinate effort. Useful data exists or are generated from these projects, but often the custodians of the information don’t realise its usefulness or potential application to others.

We connected with a university research – industry engagement program for a couple of projects and were pleased with the results. One of the projects included the review of Data WA, assessing how it compares to other open data portals and data readiness for machine learning. The research students brought a fresh perspective while delivering professional work. However, for this particular project, data exchange was not needed, and neither was data generated.

This is a worthwhile topic to explore.