LoRaTAS launch - taking a national lead in digital connectivity and innovation

The Tasmanian city of Launceston is Australia's first fully-connected city, with the LoRaTAS open innovation network now live and accessible to the public.

Seven gateways manufactured by local company Definium Technologies are now distributed throughout the CBD and a further seven will be installed in coming weeks, establishing a long range and low power wide area communication network.

The collaboration of Sense-T, the University of Tasmania, Enterprize Tasmania, CSIRO’s Data 61 and Definium Technologies provides more opportunities for local businesses and start-ups to take up the technology to enhance efficiency and improve business processes.

“Tasmania and Sense-T continue to be a leader in the Internet of Things, with this network providing a unique end-to-end capability,” said Sense-T Director, Associate Professor Stephen Cahoon. “It will be a key driver to experiment and innovate, and we are excited about what it will start to deliver.

“Technology such as this – providing real-time sensing systems - gives entrepreneurs a genuine pathway to success and highlights our strategic vision as an accelerator in the IoT space. The possibilities are exciting.”

Gateways are also located in key Hobart sites. The technology allows for data from small devices such as sensors and trackers embedded in everyday objects to interact via the gateways over a long range and with battery power lasting up to ten years. Applications include environmental monitoring, sensor management on farms and vineyards, transport, health, or machine control, among others.

Speaking at the launch, the Minister for Information Technology and Innovation, Michael Ferguson, described the achievement as internationally significant.

“It firmly establishes our credentials for supporting and developing digital innovation, and has the potential to attract commercial and non-commercial investments to Tasmania such as attracting new IoT research programs or start-ups that wish to use our new LoRaTAS system,” Mr Ferguson said.

“This will encourage further growth in the IT sector and boost job prospects for skilled Tasmanians, as well as help foster our workforce of the future in digital literacy and innovation by highlighting to students digital career options.

A LoRa School Challenge is underway, encouraging students, groups or schools to enter one minute videos with an idea that could form a successful business or solve a common problem using the LoRaWAN network.

The State Government provided $100,000 to develop the network in addition to funding from the University of Tasmania, Data61 and Definium Technologies.

Published on: 18 Dec 2017