A new partnership between National Energy Resource Australia (NERA) and Innovation Central Perth has been announced, which will benefit the energy resources sector by assisting industry to develop and deploy sensor technology to diagnose problems and optimise efficiency in industrial processes.

As part of the partnership, NERA, Australia’s Industry Growth Centre for energy resources, will provide matched funding to support the Wireless Industrial Sensor Environment (WISE) Program to demonstrate how productivity and cost efficiencies can be improved across the energy and resources supply chain through a non-competitive collaboration between industry, technology and research participants.

Miranda Taylor, NERA Chief Executive Officer, said the program would enable new technologies to be deployed at speed to assist industry in addressing contemporary and future challenges stemming from inspection and maintenance schedules, ageing infrastructure and other operational issues.

“With the emergence of technologies such as cloud computing, machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data, our sector has the opportunity to improve the operation and maintenance of assets by cost-effectively deploying IIoT technology,” Ms Taylor said.

“NERA is pleased to support the WISE Program and similar initiatives that can help streamline the adoption of innovative, cutting-edge solutions for the benefit of Australia’s energy resources sector and the broader economy, but also to leverage Australian innovation into global supply chains and create new value and job opportunities.”

WISE is a partnership between Innovation Central Perth (ICP), a Cisco-led collaboration with Curtin University, Woodside and Data61, and a growing number of industry members to boost productivity and cost efficiencies across industry sectors by leading best practices for data management and the widespread deployment of wireless sensor technologies.

Tom Goerke, Cisco’s Lead for Co-Innovation Centres in Australia, said the WISE program gave members the opportunity to solve business challenges by providing the resources to collaborate and test Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology.

“WISE members are regularly brought together through several workshops, networking functions, problem solving events and design thinking groups to prototype solutions,” Mr Goerke said.

“WISE offers a unique open collaboration format to its members, which includes a mix of industry and end-user organisations, technology providers, and research organisations.

“The program taps into a broad resource of expertise and talent from ICP’s partners and other WISE members, including from NERA, a member and project partner who collaborates right across the energy resources sector.”

The program provides industry with a test-friendly environment and the resources to collaborate, develop and deploy real-world Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology solutions to solve business challenges.

This includes access to existing infrastructure located at Innovation Central Perth and Curtin University’s main Perth campus for experimentation and testing; sensors provided by the Centre and the ability to test their own; and subject matter experts to help identify and validate the most appropriate sensor, connectivity and analytics technology stack to address their most challenging problems in operating various physical assets.

WISE also enables industry participants to begin building in-house capabilities to deploy and manage the technology tested within the Innovation Centre. Sensors available for members include acoustic, ultrasonic, location, vibration, soil moisture, surface moisture, temperature, CO2, VOx and luminosity.

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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