“It is not enough for the Centre to do fantastic, internationally impactful science if it fails to translate research results into tangible benefits to end-users.” - Professor Peter Corke Director, Australian Centre for Robotic Vision
The Centre’s End User Engagement Strategy guides our leadership role in developing Australia’s fledgling robotic vision industry. In 2014 when we began our work in the Centre, we took stock of the current industry in Australia. We found it fragmented and still very much in its infancy. The Centre’s role is not to compete with existing businesses in the Australian marketplace, but to identify the companies we can partner with to build and deliver technological solutions that will serve across a range of industries.
Our key focus is on developing robotic vision technologies in those areas where their application is identified as having the highest potential economic benefit to Australia.
To fulfil our leadership role in the new field of robotic vision while maximising our research impact, we are continually working to build and maintain sustainable partnerships across the research sector, together with public and private enterprises. An important part of this work is generating additional income and sources of funding. By increasing our network of end users, we are given the opportunity to conduct research that attracts investment outside our ARC funding. In 2017, the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision attracted over $9 million in additional external funding including industry, government, other ARC grant funding and university contributions.
Robotic vision has the potential to impact on all industries and as a result the Centre’s End User Engagement Strategy must incorporate a diversity of approaches. The Centre achieves this through:
- Creating Australia’s first Robotics and Computer Vision roadmap
- Annual Symposium and local demonstrations where existing and potential end users can see our technologies in operation
- Sector-specific industry workshops engaging directly with businesses to understand what challenges they are facing and which of these challenges can be addressed through robotic vision solutions
- Public media and events, including news stories, social media, trade journals, website and printed collateral
- One-on-one consultations where our members host meetings with representatives from various industry segments, related to our targeted impact areas
- Bringing high profile international conferences to Australia
- VIP tours, the Centre regularly invites high-profile visitors to our various nodes to showcase our evolving work
- Publication of research papers and articles in respected trade and peer-reviewed journals.
We track our engagement activities using a CRM system, which records contacts, meetings and other relevant information. Ultimately, we aim to lobby governments to work with our national robotic vision community to build a strong robotic vision industry in Australia.
Our end users provide us with the real-world challenges we must address, and will also ultimately change their businesses and the Australian economy by implementing the technologies we develop. Our success will come from engaging across a breadth of stakeholders, from our funding agencies and business partners, through to the hobbyists and community groups that inspire the next generation of end-users.