By Anand Singh
Chair, Infrastructure Chapter, AIBC
With input from Ashutosh Misra, Editor-in-Chief, India News.
Australia India Business Council (AIBC) supported by sponsors Springfield Group, Jacobs, and Tata Communications & Transformation Services (TCTS) held a Smart Infrastructure Summit on 26th October 2021, at Quest in Springfield, QLD. The event, a hybrid session, was cast live online and joined by several members across Australia and India.
The key focus of the event was Smart Infrastructure resulting from the integration of smart technologies within the larger infrastructure leading to social and economic benefits for the community. There was a clear reflection of the need for these smart solutions to be based on outcomes that are aimed at enhancing the human experience and complementing the natural environment within which they exist.
The event was moderated by AIBC Chair Jim Varghese. Abhishek Singh from Jacobs supported by Mr Manu Hingorani from TMR QLD and I, facilitated sections of the summit. Nik Senapathi, President AIBC QLD Chapter provided the vote of thanks.
As summarised by Ashok Mysore AIBC Chair ICT Chapter “Great participation from the Government, Academia, Australia-India Trade bodies and most importantly private commercial sector businesses from across Australia & India discussing multiple dimensions around Smart Infrastructure in today’s summit”.
He added: “His Excellency Manpreet Vohra spoke about National Smart Cities Mission, launched in 2015, as urban renewal and retrofitting program by the Government of India with the mission to develop smart cities across the country, making them citizen-friendly and sustainable across the 4,400 cities and towns in India. Hon Minister Dan Tehan, Minister for Trade, Tourism, and Investment talked about progress on CECA negotiations and the Digital Business Plan to Drive Australia’s Economic Recovery, as the start of Australia’s journey to becoming a leading digital economy by 2030.
Neil Scales, Director-General TMR QLD, highlighted the importance of integrated partnerships working together with players within the ecosystem around the Globe as he spoke about smart mobility solutions initiatives in QLD. Paul Francis from Jacobs touched on various solutions in his presentation on emerging trends and among other things highlighted the opportunity to improve productivity in Infrastructure.
Raynuha Sinnathamby from Springfield City Group touched on living a 10minute lifestyle in Greater Springfield, a dream that has been made possible through the Knowledge Precinct that comprises of health, technology & education. Jamie Smith from TCTS touched on rapid urbanization putting pressure on infrastructure and went on to share specific case studies reflecting the work TCTS has done in applying technology, like IoT for Smart Manhole Monitoring System, Water Monitoring System, and others.
Dean Zabrieszach from Ohmio/HMI Technologies touched on some core advanced technology application as he focussed on Infrastructure to the vehicle communications, AV Shuttle operations, 3D Printed AV and others.
Semra Barutchu from Infosys highlighted the guiding principles considered while designing Smart City Infra like Mobility, Security, Data Governance, Open Architecture that helped Infosys understand designing Smart precinct through its Campus in Mysore.
Meredith Hodgman from KPMG highlighted the need to start thinking about how the challenges around retrofitting hard infrastructure with Digital Infrastructure can become opportunities”.
Reflecting on the Fourth Industrial Revolution raised by Anand Singh, Ashok pointed out technological developments like high-speed mobile Internet, AI and automation, the use of big data analytics, and cloud technology. More specifically for Smart Infrastructure be it the natural OR built environment, he highlighted technologies such as autonomous vehicles and drones, the Internet of things, advanced materials, 3D printing and biotechnology.
Representing government institutions, Devinka Wanigesekara from Trade and Investment QLD provided an insight into the different streams such as Data and visualisation, transport and mobility, circular economy, and others while introducing companies engaged in bringing these streams to fruition in QLD. Prerna Soni from Invest India provided an impressive list of opportunities and reasons for Australian organisations and financial institutions to engage with the opportunities in India. These include 30 people migrating every minute to the city in India leading to a population of 863M people in cities by 2031, the 100 smart cities program, $32 billion budgetary outlay, investment of $40 billion per annum out to 2031, $1.4 trillion national infrastructure pipeline to 2025 and others.
In conclusion, the summit highlighted the role technology has in realising smart infrastructure within the context of urbanisation and the envious position both Australia and India are in, to work collaboratively and realise some of the many social and economic outcomes planned on both sides.
AIBC Infrastructure Chapter Chair