Networked Society Institute to close in 2019

After almost a decade of catalysing and nurturing interdisciplinary research at the University of Melbourne, the Networked Society Institute will close its doors in 2019.

A message from Prof Mark Hargreaves,
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Collaboration & Partnerships)

Prof Mark Hargreaves

For the past decade, the Networked Society Institute and its predecessor the Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES) have furthered the University’s capacity to undertake innovative interdisciplinary research, partnerships and engagement. During this time the Institute has delivered many positive impacts across society, particularly in the health and education domains. The Institute’s interdisciplinary research model helps shape much of the University’s current thinking on research collaboration.

The Institutes were established to build interdisciplinarity as a fundamental concept across the campus, but that mission always had a finite lifetime. Today we recognise that the Networked Society Institute will begin winding up its operations, with closure at end of June 2019.

The Institute leaves a wonderful legacy, one which has infused the broader University of Melbourne community who will pick up the key challenges and opportunities that arise from digital, networked and automated technologies.

The networked society is taking shape before our eyes, and the challenges that this transition present are being tackled through new research connections across the University, as well through special projects such as the Melbourne Connect innovation precinct, expansion of digital and data capability, and new initiatives in digital equity and ethics and data science.

The Institute has always embraced change and over its existence, it has delivered substantial benefits to the University. These include; building interdisciplinary research capacity and talent, activating new seed funded projects and facilitating key partnerships across industry, government and not-for-profit sectors.

Over the past decade, the University has received enormous benefit from the Institute and its ability to leverage our research strengths. On behalf of the University, I wish to acknowledge the important contribution made by the staff, researchers, students, and Executive Committee and Advisory Board members who have been central to the success of the Institute over the decade. A special mention should be made of the outstanding leadership provided by Prof. Thas Nirmalathas and his predecessor Prof. Rod Tucker.

I look forward to continuing the journey as we celebrate the success of the Institute in 2019 and transition to an exciting future.

A message from Prof Thas Nirmalathas,
Director, Networked Society Institute

Prof Thas Nirmalathas

Looking back on this year and the life of the Institute gives me a sense of gratitude. While our doors may close in June 2019, the legacy of the Institute lives on.

We have been instrumental in transforming the culture of the University through the active development and stewardship of interdisciplinary research. We have nurtured new collaborations through our seed funding program. Our lab has provided deep technical expertise to enable deep engagement across disciplines.

These activities supported inquiry into the key issues around the network society to deliver positive social impact. The relationships fostered through our research activities are at the heart of the Institute and I look forward to seeing them grow and thrive in the years ahead.

The Institute has enabled the next generation of research leaders, providing them with a grounding in interdisciplinary approaches. Our Graduate and Early Career Researchers who have been supported across the years through project funding, scholarships and amazing Doctoral Academy are flourishing, delivering real-world research impact.

We have engaged closely with the wider community through forming strong industry and government collaborations of mutual benefit that have buoyed our research furthered understanding and supported the realisation of the networked society.

We have not only delivered substantial benefits to the University and created valued prototypes and outputs but most importantly we have built a committed community invested in interdisciplinary research. I am privileged to be part of this dynamic community of research scholars and collaborators who are engaged with exploring the challenges and opportunities of life in a networked society.

In addition to the substantial benefits to the University, most importantly we have built a committed community invested in interdisciplinary research. I am privileged to be part of this dynamic community of research scholars and collaborators who are engaged with exploring the challenges and opportunities of life in a networked society.

I am thankful for our interdisciplinary research teams and wider research community working across the boundaries of understanding to uncover new ideas. Your initiative is an ongoing asset to the University, positioning it to tackle some intriguing and relevant societal issues.

On this occasion, I wish to thank my Institute Team for making all this possible and also appreciate the enormous contribution from members of the Executive Committee and Advisory Board through their guidance, mentorship and sharing of networks.

Seasons Greetings and I look forward to celebrating our successes with you all in early 2019!

More Information

Kate Murray