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Innovator of the Year finalists

Thursday, 06 October 2011

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ECU has made a strong showing in the 2011 WA Innovator of the Year Awards, with two research projects nominated in the “iiNet Encouragement award for innovation in superfast broadband applications” category.

The first is the Wireless Token Network, developed by researchers at ECU’s Centre for Communications Engineering Research (CCER). The technology seeks to improve the quality of voice over IP (VOIP) services, such as Skype, when used over wifi networks

With the increasing popularity of people using VOIP to make phone calls over the web, ensuring their quality becomes a challenge.

The Wireless Token Network ensures that things like Skype calls receive the priority they require, while ensuring other users can still use the wireless network to surf the web.

Results from the Wireless Token Network indicate it can support up to twice the amount of users than current wireless 802.11e technology.

The second nominated project is for the work of ECU’s Electron Science Research Institute (ESRI) to develop a multi-band, tunable laser source.

Using Optical and Very large Scale Integration (Opto-VLSI) technology, the tunable laser source has the ability to pack multiple data streams into optical fibres.

It is expected to dramatically increase the capacity of optic fibre networks, including, for example, Australia’s NationalBroadband Network (NBN).

ECU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Advancement), Professor John Finlay-Jones, said the nominations highlight ECU’s research strength in engineering and its benefits to the community.

“Both the Wireless Token Network and the tunable laser research offer exciting new potential for existing communications technologies,” Professor Finlay-Jones said.

“It also proves that technological solutions involving advanced wireless and fibre optic networks are being developed here in Western Australia. Research students and staff don’t have to go overseas to be involved at the cutting edge. The facilities and the research exist right here.”

This year is the first that the encouragement award has been offered. In total, there is more than $200,000 in prizes for the winners of the Innovator of the Year Awards, which includes professional services and mentoring.

The winners will be announced on 3 November 2011.

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