Applications can be made for many of the 130 new jobs being created in Wollongong as NEC invests $25 million in a corporate office at the innovation campus.
The facility will not only support customers across Australia but strengthen a strategic partnership with the University of Wollongong that is likely to create more jobs.
It comes as NEC invests in ICT innovation in areas such as health, aged care, communications, biometrics, security and smart city infrastructure.
UOW will help NEC capitalise on technology to address pressing societal challenges such as ageing populations, the environment, and impacts to industry from next generation technologies. It is also looking at urban population growth and challenges around food, energy, natural resources and ageing infrastructure.
NEC Australia chief operating officer Mike Barber said the company had a very big focus on engineering and R&D. “It is not just about computers and communications. Here locally we are a provider end-user services for people. We have a customer service management centre here. Our first customer was Transport NSW,” he said.
Mr Barber would like to see other parts of NEC’s business in Wollongong. He said it is starting with 130 new jobs but wanted to grow that by securing more business. “We think it is perfect this area..with a great lifestyle. Part of the reason we partnered with UOW was to look at our R&D background here. We have signed and MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to look at joint development of technologies”.
He said being able to work with world class researchers would help create more opportunities for NEC to grow its business and help UOW address issues such as industrial transformation and sustaining coastal environments. “This is a really exciting time for us”.
NEC is also very strong in the area of public safety. “With facial recognition technology we are number one in the world. We can recognise six million faces in one second. We are rolling that out in a number of different ways across the world..for all sorts of different things,” Mr Barber said.
UOW chief financial officer Damien Israel said the move would provide an exciting opportunity for the university to collaborate with a significant global business.
Mr Israel said NEC can can help UOW explore research applications in health areas such as aged care and dementia as well as transport, cyber security and social media.
The partnership between NEC and UOW includes a graduate program in 2017 that offers graduates an opportunity to kickstart their career.
The MoU involves leveraging NEC’s Smart Cities capabilities with a multidisciplinary group UOW is bringing together with industry and government partners to develop research projects within its Smart Campus concept.
NSW Minister for Trade Stuart Ayres said having two great innovators partnering together on the innovation campus was a very positive step that would provide more new opportunities for people to work closer to home in an increasingly technology focused economy.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward said the announcement followed plenty of good news recently for the regional economy where a wealth of new opportunities were being created.