'Global potential' for university system

Chris Vein, of the World Bank
Chris Vein, of the World Bank

DATA has been elevated to a status previously reserved for liquid gold and oil, technology and innovation guru Chris Vein said yesterday.

As the World Bank's chief innovation officer in global technology development, Mr Vein traverses the globe in search of new ways of thinking, operating and problem-solving.

He said harnessing data efficiently and effectively could contribute to ending extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

Mr Vein last night delivered a public lecture on the power of technology in driving sustainable development.

One innovation he is watching closely is Sense-T, a program based at the University of Tasmania.

The program is designed to help businesses, governments and communities foster sustainable approaches to economic, environmental and social developments.

Sense-T combines information gathered through data collected to create a digital view of the state.

The aim is to enhance the operations of industries such as agriculture, aquaculture, viticulture and water management.

Mr Vein recently joined the program's advisory council, tasked with providing an insight to experiences of similar projects around the world.

He said technology being developed through Sense-T had applicability across Australia and around the world.

"What Sense-T is trying to do is take data from public and private sectors, put it together, make it available and repurpose it for a number of uses," he said.

"This technology has real value to empower individuals and create new jobs."

Mr Vein said Tasmania has a role to play on the world stage.

"Government, the private sector and academia can't solve all the world's problems working in isolation," he said.

"But if they come together to open their systems and data up and involve everybody, they can leap-frog over the traditional barriers to development."


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