Energy-efficient reseach centre for communications industry

Thursday, 29 April, 2010

Bell Labs, University of Melbourne and the Victoria state government are teaming up to open an eco-oriented research centre in Australia.  The AU$10 million centre will focus on researching energy-efficient technology for the communications industry

Alcatel-Lucent's CEO - Ben Verwaayen, Australia’s Victorian State Treasurer - John Lenders and University of Melbourne Professor Rod Tucker today announced that Alcatel-Lucent’s research arm, Bell Labs, the University of Melbourne and the Victorian state government are partnering to establish a research centre in Melbourne, Australia, that will be devoted to innovation in energy-efficient networks and technologies.

The Victorian-based research facility, to be called the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET), will have a staff of researchers and technology experts that will build to a team of 22 during the next three years. Bell Labs and the University of Melbourne will share governance of the centre, which will be based at the university.

The centre will conduct research on a broad range of telecommunications network infrastructure elements and will focus on how those elements can be made more energy efficient. This is an important objective in light of the exponential growth in the usage of those networks that is resulting in a rapid increase in energy consumption. Both the University of Melbourne and Bell Labs are members of the GreenTouch initiative, a global, industry-wide consortium formed to achieve a dramatic improvement in energy efficiency by driving a radical redesign of communications networks.

In achieving its goals, CEET will draw on Bell Labs’ decades of achieving breakthrough innovations and its extensive experience in managing collaborative research projects as well as on the University of Melbourne’s world-class research in telecommunications network infrastructure.

Victorian State Treasurer John Lenders says that what makes CEET so valuable is both the step it takes towards green telecommunications objectives and the research opportunities it provides for Australia.

“It will enable the Victorian state to position itself as a place for information and communications technology research and a centre for green communications research, development and training.”

Professor Rod Tucker, from the University of Melbourne’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, says that to team up with Bell Labs, world-renowned for its ability to generate breakthrough innovations, is an exciting step for Melbourne University.

“It adds significant expertise to our strong track record of research into energy-efficient telecommunications,” he says.

Ben Verwaayen, Alcatel-Lucent CEO, says that finding ways to reduce energy consumption is a challenge that our society faces and that our industry is well positioned to address.

“CEET is an example of an initiative that has the potential to play a decisive role in meeting this challenge because it has the key ingredients for success: partners with deep research experience and complementary goals,” he said.

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