Digital Sciences Initiative

The Digital Sciences Initiative is an ambitious vision to build world-class capabilities for Sydney and NSW more broadly that delivers research and education across the span of digital sciences and technologies.

The 21st century is the digital century. The Digital Sciences Initiative is a unique opportunity to seize a nationally and internationally leading position in the digital revolution:

  • as a driving force in fundamental digital science and digital technology research;
  • as a catalyst for the creation and transformation of digital industries;
  • as the place where the conversation about digital futures and digital societies take place; and
  • where a new generation of digital scientists, engineers, and social entrepreneurs is mentored and trained.

The Initiative is an attractor for high-value jobs for both staff and students, for research grants and national centres of digital excellence, for large scale engagement with the digital ecosystem and investment from industry, and for building sustained economic and social outcomes for the State and country.

Research enablers and applications

The Digital Sciences Initiative undertakes research in both fundamental digital sciences and applied digital technologies.

Digital sciences cover core “horizontal” themes such as AI and machine learning and Data-centric engineering that generates research applicable to a range of different technologies and applications.

Digital technologies cover broad “vertical” applications and impact areas of digital sciences such as Digital agriculture, Digital health imaging, and Defence. Many of these application areas are already the focus of economic and societal “grand challenges” being addressed nationally and globally, which involve research institutions and industry well beyond the core digital domain.

Engineering for the future

Digital Farmhand Trials

Digital Farmhand is a modular low-cost platform designed to assist smallholder farmers in improving their productivity and yields, and ultimately provide a more reliable income amidst changing markets and climates. In its simplest form it is a small electric tractor-like vehicle that can tow a variety of implements such as seeders, weeders and bed preparation tools. The Digital Farmhand can also use accessible smartphone technologies along with AI to provide crop analytics such as yield estimation.

Walk through the ACFR with Professor Williams

The Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR), part of the Sydney Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems, has been instrumental in developing breakthrough technologies, conducting world-renowned research and developing field robotics principles and systems. Follow Professor Williams for a tour showcasing some of the research work that is being carried out at ACFR.

Seed Funding 2023

Call for Problem Statements

Funded Projects

Explore our research


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