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Industry and community projects

Projects and partners

July intensives

Intensives take place over four weeks during the winter period and are based in either Sydney or an international destination.

Apply for a project in Sydney.

KPMG - Development of Artificial Intelligence

How can we stimulate the responsible and ethical development and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Australia? AI has the potential to deliver tremendous benefits as well as new challenges for Australian society. As investment in, development and use of AI has skyrocketed, concerns about AI-powered solutions and their implications for privacy, job security, control and trust have grown. As government legislation struggles to keep up with progress in AI, a regulatory framework is required to ensure this new technology drives opportunity for all rather than inequality, and is consistent with our national values. In this project, your group will research and develop a framework to stimulate the responsible and ethical development and use of AI in Australia. The research should specifically consider the Australian cultural perspective, that wouldn’t be captured in globally common approaches. For example, in the context of human rights where you have internationally recognised standards as a baseline, what Australian-specific considerations are relevant considering the notions of a ‘fair go’ and ‘mateship’.

For more information about this project, contact pvceducation.enquiries@sydney.edu.au

TAD - Using assistive technology to change lives

You’re young, fit and in the prime of your life. One day at sport practice, you’re doing a drill you’ve done a thousand times before. This time though, you slip and fall. This happened to Mark seven years ago. In an instant, Mark’s life was changed forever, he was paralysed from the neck down. TAD changes the lives of people living with a disability by providing personalised technology, equipment and services. TAD have over 100 volunteers who dedicate their time, skills and energy to produce life-changing solutions. New technologies such as microcontrollers, 3D printing and the internet are rapidly transforming solutions for people living with disabilities. TAD is working towards being a provider of innovative technology-based solutions, however the majority of their volunteer workforce are inexperienced in this area. In this project you’ll explore what new and emerging technologies will have the greatest impact on people living with disability and how the changing nature of the volunteering industry can help to produce these solutions.

For more information about this project, contact pvceducation.enquiries@sydney.edu.au

WPP and Landor Sydney - Understanding the customer journey

WPP is a global communications company with an extensive portfolio of services ranging from advertising, public relations, ecommerce, brand consulting to advertising and media investment management. In this project, you will explore the behaviour of consumers along the customer journey. You’ll also explore solutions for how an organisation can understand their customers better as they progress along the journey from brand choice to brand selection to brand purchase, especially in an online environment. Is this journey (for the most part) linear, or does it vary wildly based on attitudes to money, the mood of the customer at the time of purchase or on other variables such as personal values? Interdisciplinary perspectives may reveal a complex of behaviours beyond traditional understandings of rational consumer behaviour. For example, you might explore the role of emotions, aesthetics or disruptive technologies on consumer decision-making. For WPP, a complex understanding of the customer journey and customers behaviours towards it is key to creating an accurate and enjoyable customer and brand experience.

For more information about this project, contact pvceducation.enquiries@sydney.edu.au

Apply for a project in China.

Deloitte China - Disruptive technologies for cross-border transfers

What is digital disruption? Digital disruption describes the substantial changes across the economy introduced by developments in and wide diffusion of digital technologies. Digital disruption impacts business, governments, investors and consumers. Rapid advances in computing, connectivity, mobility, and data accumulation and storage offer opportunities for growth. In this project you will look at the regulation regarding cross-border transfers, storage, and use of data in major jurisdictions across the globe. The comparison and study of these differences would provide valuable insights not only to accounting practitioners but also to regulators and policymakers all over the world.

This project is only open to Chinese students with a Chinese passport.

Apply for a project in Hong Kong.

Deloitte Hong Kong - Using Blockchain technology to transform business

Blockchain has the potential to enhance professions and businesses in fields such as accounting, banking, agriculture, energy and more, by reducing the costs of maintaining and reconciling ledgers, and providing absolute certainty over the ownership and history of assets. In this project you will look at how Blockchain can be applied to help the financial services industry to gain clarity over the available resources and obligations of their organisations, and also free up resources to concentrate on planning and valuation, rather than record-keeping. You may look at what role an organisation or industry can play in creating a unified/consolidated Digital Identity for citizens domestically and/or internationally. This project would suit students from Science, Technology Engineering, Business, Arts and Law, however it is open to all disciplines.

For more information about this project, contact pvceducation.enquiries@sydney.edu.au

Infiniti Lab Hong Kong - The future of the sharing economy

This innovation project is based at the Infiniti Global Automotive Company’s Infiniti Lab in Hong Kong. The Infiniti Lab is the company’s innovation function and exists to generate and integrate new ideas into the Infiniti automotive business. In this project, you’ll engage with some of the best minds in the business - creative thinkers, business strategists, entrepreneurs, and tech aficionados. The focus of this project will be on how the sharing economy will shape the future of the automotive business. New companies such as Lyft and Uber have disrupted the automotive industry and are changing customer expectations. Infiniti is dedicated to creating a suite of mobility solutions that provide value to the changing needs of consumers and cities. In this project you will uncover ways in which the automotive industry can create new mobility business solutions to address consumer expectations.

For more information about this project, contact pvceducation.enquiries@sydney.edu.au

Apply for a project in India.

Tech Mahindra - Disruptive technologies for future-ready innovations

Tech Mahindra is a leading provider of digital transformation. This project is based in Tech Mahindra’s ‘Makers Lab’ in Pune near Mumbai, India. The ‘Makers Lab’ is a hub for co-innovation of solutions and services for future customers and start-ups. In this project, you will explore the possibilities of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Internet of Things, and their application to industries including agribusiness, aerospace, commercial vehicles, logistics, real estate, renewable energy, amongst others. You do not need a technical background for this project as it will look at novel applications of emerging technologies that are practical and have a far-reaching effects. Innovation and entrepreneurship will be key to finding ways businesses can be ready for the future.

For more information about this project, contact pvceducation.enquiries@sydney.edu.au

Apply for a project in Italy.

Brazzale Italy (Padova) - Smart food design for health

Food systems and human health are inextricably linked, and depend on trust and agreement between all actors in the food value chain as well as adequate world food policy frameworks. The rates of non-communicable diseases have increased rapidly in recent years, particularly in developed countries and in urban areas of countries with economies in transition. Virtually all of these disorders are diet-related and, not surprisingly, do not respond well to the pharmaceutical model that characterises today's health care paradigm. Therefore, promoting better nutrition is a major goal in order to reduce non-communicable disease. Brazzale (est. 1784), is the oldest Italian dairy company and you will be exposed to the Italian food production system through visits to a range of farms, food and beverage processors and manufacturers including dairy, pasta and prosecco. In this project, you will look at smart food or food designed for health and wellness as it is the fastest growing food and beverage category resulting from a sharp rise in non-communicable chronic diseases.

For more information about this project, contact pvceducation.enquiries@sydney.edu.au

Apply for a project in London.

Accenture UK: Digital healthcare through technology

The health market is full of apps and products which do not accurately address the patient needs. The UK National Health Service (NHS) is working with new digital services to support and empower people to take control of their health and care. This happens through secure online access to clinicians, personalised health information, digital tools and advice that helps patients better manage their conditions. In this project, you will explore how digital tools for education, prevention and health management can improve healthcare standards and help people age with dignity. You will work with experts from within Accenture, Fjord, along with Healthcare and Digital Clinician leads within the NHS to consider ideas around devices and services and how these can be adapted to meet patient needs. You will need to demonstrate thorough research which truly understands patient needs and provide a solution that is driven from an identified and well-articulated clinical/ patient need.

For more information about this project, contact pvceducation.enquiries@sydney.edu.au

KPMG UK - Disrupting Higher Education

The Higher Education market has functioned in the same way for hundreds of years and fundamentally needs to change. We have seen increases to tuition fees, the impact of globalisation, the value of different degree qualifications being called into question, and technology revolutionising the way teaching can be delivered. KPMG work across many Higher Education institutions and are looking to understand not only how universities operate today, but how they will need to operate in the future. In this project you will look to understand how the Higher Education market will operate in the next 5, 10, 20 years, and consider ways that the market can adapt to crucial requirements if universities are to survive this seismic shift. What will the relationship between a student and their university be? What will the impact of artificial intelligence and technology revolutions be? What might the fee structures for courses be in the future? And how will a university be configured to deliver in this new environment?

For more information about this project, contact pvceducation.enquiries@sydney.edu.au

Semester long projects

Projects take place over 13 weeks during semester and are based at the University of Sydney. To enrol for a Semester 2 Industry Project please visit the how to apply page.

More partners and projects will be available here soon. 

For enquiries about Semester long project, email pvceducation.enquiries@sydney.edu.au

Bain & Company - Diversity in Australian workplaces

There has been growing recognition and focus on the importance of increasing diversity in Australian workplaces, yet there are complex structural and cultural factors which seem to limit progress. Opportunities continue to exist for workplaces to implement changed practices to address all forms of diversity. As Australian society continues to change in size and nature, how should businesses respond to, prepare for and meet the needs of future generations of employees? This project will involve a combination of research and strategic problem solving to develop specific and practical recommendations for Australian employers to incorporate into their business strategies in order to increase diversity in their workplaces.

United Nations and Elizabeth Broderick & Co. - Gender as a notion in the changing world of work

History indicates that no industrial or technological change has been gender-neutral. On the one hand, technological innovation, such as mobile phones, have increased women’s access to networks and markets, but at the same time created new tools and spaces for abuse and harassment, both in private life and in the context of work. Artificial intelligence is going to increasingly play a role in how we work and live, yet the design and programming remains male dominated, so we risk ending up with a male dominated view of work and life. As technological change impacts on what work looks like and the kinds of jobs that are ascribed greater value, we need to keep the focus on how women are faring and our overall goal of women enjoying equal rights to decent work. We need to make sure that the structural and systemic barriers that exist today are not replicated or exacerbated in the world of work for the future. In this project you will look at how technological change is impacting on women’s experiences of work, how are women experiencing this differently depending on where they live and whether specific groups of women are more vulnerable than others. How is technological change impacting on women from different socio-economic groups? What is the role of the private sector (both those developing the technologies and those using them) to ensure women’s human rights are not compromised? And what can/should governments do to ensure appropriate regulation and policy is in place to support gender equality in the future world of work?

MS Research (at Westmead) - Personalisation to healthy living for those living with MS

People living with multiple sclerosis (MS) can control and potentially minimise the impact of MS on their lives, and this can provide a sense of empowerment and hope. Research shows that there are a number of risk factors that influence the onset of MS, including smoking, UV light exposure, and weight, and that these can be modified through lifestyle changes. However, the role that modifiable lifestyle factors may play in reducing disease activity and disability progression in MS is not well understood. There is emerging evidence that exercise and physical activity are beneficial in MS, although there is no clarity on the exact type, duration and intensity of activity that is needed to make a difference in disease outcomes. Similarly, there is no evidence that any dietary regime can influence MS outcomes, despite a high level of interest amongst people with MS. This project aims develop an evidence-based, customised, self-management program that integrates key healthy behaviours relevant to the progression of MS that is adaptable to account for individual abilities and symptoms. A key outcome of the program is to support uptake of and adherence to healthy lifestyle behaviours in people with MS.

Westmead Redevelopment and Western Sydney Local Health District (at Westmead) - Disrupting chronic illness through immersive technologies

Western Sydney has one of the sickest populations in Australia. There is a total of 57.3 per cent of people who have one of four health risk factors - physical activity, diabetes, coronary heart disease and obesity. How can we formulate a disruptive idea and solution design that tackles chronic health illness in Western Sydney to inspire and promote improvement in health and social outcomes? Can disruptive emerging health technologies such as mobile apps, wearables, virtual reality, IoT and/or artificial intelligence and machine learning help to encourage a physically active healthy lifestyle and the monitoring and management of chronic illness?

AGL - Disconnecting from the grid

What will the electricity grid look like in 10 or 15 years? Will we have a grid, or maybe a grid of grids? The relationship with consumers and retailers is changing and their relationship with the grid can also mean consumers can now become producers of electricity. We are faced with new technical risks and different business models. In this project you may look at ways to completely disconnect from the grid. With increasing electricity prices and falling costs of technologies such as solar panels, battery storage and fuel cells, going off-grid may now be feasible. You will look at the lifestyle and wider societal implications with the future of the electricity grid. You may explore whether it is technically and economically feasible to completely disconnect from the grid today.

PTW - Is the world big enough for humans?

We live in a time when institutions that seem to have been around forever are going to the wall, when a deteriorating climate is an index for uncertain futures, when old enmities are merging with new technologies. What are the solutions to an expanding population and resource exhaustion on a finite planet? Can artificial intelligence meet emotional intelligence, to shape new civilisations? Can we create alternate lifeworld's, give them physical and social shape, a governance structure, real estate, pleasure and play? The business, communication and presentation skills you gather during this project will be relevant to any career, field or lifestyle you choose in the future – all disciplinary imaginations are needed for the key task of shaping civilisation.

QBE - The impact of climate change

Climate change is a key topic for many businesses around the world due to the physical impacts of extreme weather events and the impact of changes in climate and sea level on everything from property to liability to crop insurance. QBE have a sophisticated catastrophe modelling capability and use stress and scenario testing to assess the impact of extreme but plausible weather events to help them better prepare for such situations. What they are now seeing is a range of other potential risks and opportunities resulting from climate change due to things like changes in technology, new policies and regulation, new cases of litigation and increasing stakeholder expectations for how corporations manage risk and offer customer solutions. In this project you will look at the potential implications and what are the opportunities that climate change presents.

Airbnb - Airbnb Experiences

Airbnb experience are activities designed and led by inspiring locals. They go beyond typical tours or classes by immersing guests in each hosts' unique world. It's an opportunity for anyone to share their hobbies, skills or expertise without needing an extra room. Hosts can be musicians, chefs, artists and other in the know locals who give their guests access to actives and places they can't typically find on their own. They make everyone feel welcome and help people in a group connect with one another. In this project you can decide which experience or experiences your group want to work on. You may look at what kind of experiences locals in Sydney want to book, how to grow the supply of experiences in Sydney, how to foster a community with the experience hosts, or maybe even look at a potential competition of on-boarding or hosting an experience targeted to locals. Your group will get to decide the direction your AirBnb experience will take.

PwC - Future of Sydney precincts

To retain Sydney’s global status, we need to invest in innovation – and this can best be harnessed through the development of precincts which are centred on catalytic institutions in education, innovation, health and research. As Australia continues to transition to an ideas economy, the development and commercialisation of ideas and innovation will be paramount to ongoing economic success. The success of precincts can rely on a number of factors including the ability to attract investment (global and local), the successful establishment of a suitable governance structure to manage the precincts, a brand and identity which attracts global talent, and a focus on suitable industries and institutions for the continuous growth and productivity of the precinct. In this project you will focus on what currently exists in a precinct and make a case for why this should continue to be invested, or a case for why you would progress it to another offering, such as an innovation precinct.

Accenture - Technology disruption through autonomous vehicles

Disruptive technologies will have a significant impact on the community and the economy in Australia and globally. For example, Uber was in effect operating illegally in Australia in many states for several years, before government regulation 'caught up'. The disruption of industries and the public sector caused by new technologies will continue to occur at an increasing rate. The government will need to respond and adapt to these impacts in its various roles: as a regulator, as a promoter and supporter of new industries, and as a provider of services to citizens. In this project you will develop a framework and approach, for government to use, to investigate the introduction of disruptive technologies. As an example, this framework could be used in approaching technology of autonomous vehicles.

Adobe - The future of education: closing the digital skills gap

As we enter an era of integrated digital and physical technologies across all areas of business, production, mobility, and communications, we have already seen whole industries and economies shift rapidly. Currently, with such a lag between education and disruptive technological change within industry, there is a risk that organisations are not ready to harness the full potential of this change. How can technologies be incorporated into education so that this skills shortfall is mitigated, meaning organisations don’t just look to survive, but capture enormous growth instead? In this project you will investigate the future of education, looking to formulate creative and innovative ways that business, schools, universities, and governments can tackle industry skills shortages. You are required to provide tangible suggestions and solutions that address the future of education so that human talent aligns with technological advancement.

ANZ Bank - Digital disruption

What does digital disruption look like? Technologies such as digital payments, digital identify, contactless payment and block chain, will continue to have a significant impact across many businesses. ANZ are currently looking at key transformation streams: financial, digital and cultural. This project will cover institutional banking which has global presence by nature, a wide range of customers with complex needs and structure; complex relationships with customers, vendors, partners and competitors and innovation pressures. In this project you will look broadly at opportunities for collaboration, ranging from ecosystem creation (multi device, multi-platform, multi play) through to fraud prevention and risk minimisation. You may consider open banking, artificial intelligence, cyber security, eco-systems or block chain.

Telstra - Using cognitive computing and AI to anticipate product-preference

Can artificial intelligence be used to anticipate product-preference for customers? Marketing, operations and technology will help shape the future of the desk bound employee. Individuals manage 15,000 customers via phone and can be needed to understand over 2000 product offerings. This project will have you looking at solutions in how best to service customers and consider the people and practices to support the future of work. You will look at the attributes and skills required of a desk bound role and consider processes, systems and practices in how an organisation could use technology such as cognitive computing or artificial intelligence to change the business model. This project does not require computing, AI or data skills. Students from a wide range of disciplines are encouraged to apply.

Westpac - The impact of artificial intelligence on banking

The booming growth of machine learning and artificial intelligence is both exciting and intimidating. In shifting conventional computing paradigms, can innovations led by AI provide new and lucrative opportunities for businesses across all sectors? A number of clear potential applications for AI already exist for the banking sector: customer service interactions, providing financial advice, mitigating risk and decision making. In this project your group will provide a brief that prepares for or takes advantage of artificial intelligence on banking.

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