The University of Wollongong (UOW) has tapped video intelligence platform VisualCortex to join its artificial intelligence hub, joining the likes of Telstra, Microsoft and NVIDIA.
Founded by Tony Nicol, also the founder of Sydney-based Servian, VisualCortex provides video analytics which will enable academics at UOW to “productionise machine learning models at scale”.
As part of the partnership, VisualCortex has established a satellite office at UOW’s SMART Infrastructure Facility, as well as the Telstra-UOW research hub for AIOT Solutions.
UOW’s SMART Infrastructure Facility specialises in applying data analytics, advanced simulation, smart cities technology and video analytics to core infrastructure challenges, including electricity, roads, rail urban growth and regional development.
The initiative brings together over 30 experts from industry and academia, focusing on delivering globally applicable AIOT outcomes in smart transport, smart logistics, resilient infrastructure and intelligent manufacturing.
As a result of the partnership, UOW and VisualCortex will also refer client work to one another and jointly deliver solutions to industry.
VisualCortex co-founder Patrick Elliott said the company’s video intelligence platform would help “research make real-world change”.
“At the same time, UOW provides outstanding academic expertise, industry relationships, and data governance,” Elliott explained.
“The marriage of the two – VisualCortex’s enterprise-ready computer vision platform, coupled with UOW’s ability to use that platform as a vehicle to deliver academic-produced ML models to industry – represents an ideal partnership. It’s a win for everyone.”
According to Elliott, the deal will give VisualCortex easier access to skills via talent exchanges, internships and graduate hiring programs with the university.
“While SMART Infrastructure Facility’s journey into smart video analytics is relatively recent, growth in effort and demand has been nearly exponential,” said SMART Infrastructure Facility director Professor Pascal Perez. “So we know, based on its technology and the number of requests we’re fielding, the market opportunity for VisualCortex is wide and broad.
“What VisualCortex is trying to do is brave: At the moment, most of the video analytics market develops around vertical integration; and bespoke – if not ad-hoc – solutions for specific sectors, or even sub-sectors.
“That means we’re going to see a lot of redundancies in terms of the deployment of all these single-use-case computer vision tools and the fees that end-users will have to pay. So, we need a transversal approach, which VisualCortex is bringing to bear with its industry-agnostic platform.”
The Telstra-UOW research hub for AIOT Solutions was first announced in October last year and was established with the support of a $1.7 million federal government SURF grant.