Colab partnership to translate research innovation into reality

18 Oct, 2017
 Colab have signed an agreement with SM23
The new sponsorship agreement with S23M will result in a wealth of new opportunities for students and staff

Colab, the collaboratory for AUT’s Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies, has signed an exclusive sponsorship agreement with global consulting firm S23M. As part of the agreement, Colab Master’s and PhD students will have the opportunity to apply for sponsorship and turn their ideas into reality.

Signed by the Dean of the Design and Creative Technologies Faculty, Professor Guy Littlefair, and S23M's Jorn Bettin, the 12 month partnership will focus on joint research and development of knowledge distillation tools.

Specifically S23M and Colab have agreed to:
  • Jointly develop learning resources and lectures related to innovation and entrepreneurship; interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration, research and design; co-creation; and product line engineering
  • Host and facilitate the quarterly unconference on interdisciplinary innovation and collaboration (CIIC), which has been set up in 2015 to address wicked problems that go beyond the framework of research in industry, government and academia
  • Build on S23M’s MODA + MODE methodology, to further research and develop S23M’s Cell Platform technology, and to encourage open and widespread use of these tools according to the principles of open innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing.
“This agreement with consultants S23M is a ringing endorsement of Colab's ability to work with industry and a big opportunity for the whole faculty to gain knowledge of their innovation and interdisciplinary expertise,” Professor Littlefair says.
S23M intends to sponsor Master’s and PhD students with an interest in one of the following three areas of research:
  • Visualisation of semantic artefacts on internet connected devices
This research explores new paradigms for the specification of visual user interfaces that can be easily mapped to the capabilities of the increasingly diverse kinds of internet connected devices. The research relates to open source generic artefact visualisation software that S23M is developing for its open source Cell Platform technology.
  • Tool assisted conversion of textual domain knowledge into formal models
This research involves the development of innovative interactive approaches to natural language processing, new paradigms for knowledge sharing between humans and machines, and makes use of the advanced semantic modelling capabilities inherent in S23M’s open source Cell Platform technology.
  • Unsupervised machine learning techniques that produce human understandable representations

Research and development of advanced unsupervised machine learning capabilities that lead to representations of knowledge that are human understandable, and that can easily be integrated with formal representations of the knowledge of human domain experts. The neural networks and algorithms developed as part of this work will be expressed as semantic artefacts in S23M’s open source Cell Platform technology.

“I’m very pleased that this agreement has been finalised and that Colab and S23M can now realise the opportunities this partnership offers,” Frances Joseph, Colab Director says.

S23M operates globally, with consulting practices in New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. The company has consulted to a wide range of clients internationally including the Economist Group in the UK, and Zespri International in New Zealand. Colab’s Pete Rive worked with Jorn Bettin to facilitate the agreement. The company helps its clients to develop successful new products and to achieve transformative improvements by reducing complexity and catalysing cultural transformation. S23M's service offering is powered by model oriented domain analysis and engineering (MODA + MODE); a set of thinking tools for uncovering, formalising, validating, and creatively (re)using the tacit knowledge that is inherent in any knowledge intensive business or in any scientific research team.
“I am delighted to see our collaboration formalised in a partnership that reflects a shared appreciation of the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of research and innovation. My colleagues and I are looking forward to collaborating intensively with Colab’s researchers and with a highly diverse and talented group of students,” S23M’s Jorn Bettin says.
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