Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents an opportunity and a threat to regional Australia. If communities, universities and government work together, we can maximise the benefits and minimise the threats from this powerful new form of technology for regional Australia. This Smarter Regions CRC will give regional Australia the ability to act with urgency and scale to address some of the key challenges and opportunities facing regional Australia.

  • Food and agriculture
  • Mining and resources
  • Tourism
  • Health and social services
  • Transport and logistics
  • Manufacturing

What we will achieve

The Smarter Regions CRC will empower regional Australia to gain the maximum benefit from the AI revolution. It will transform existing industries and grow a technology sector in and for regional Australia. The result will be:

  • More profitable and competitive regional businesses and industries
  • Higher productivity leading to higher wages
  • Regional growth and jobs
  • Better delivery of regional services
  • A better return on regional investment
  • Regional Australia confident it can thrive in an AI-enabled world

The CRC will be a partnership of industry, government, universities and VET training organisations and will be the first major effort to specifically focused on enabling regions to capture the benefits of AI anywhere in the world.

The Smarter Regions CRC will better enable regional Australian businesses to achieve ‘local’ success in the 21st Century economy through four integrated research programs:

  • New Sensors and Integrated Systems: New sensors and multi-sensor systems that can act as one, cost-effectively collecting performance information for regional and remote communities and businesses.
  • Automated Advisory and Optimisation Systems: Software systems that interact easily with humans to translate data into advice on how to optimise operations in remote and regional environments, communities and industries.
  • Automation for More Productive, Safer Workplaces: AI driven robotics, navigation and automation systems designed for specifically to improve workplace safety and job satisfaction, and drive high value and productivity in regional industries.
  • Introducing and Operating Smart Technologies in Regions: Business and governance models, standards, infrastructure, skills development, community and consumer acceptance that builds trust and drives value in new smart systems.

Why is this CRC needed?

Regional Australians face different opportunities and challenges compared to urban Australians. It can be more difficult to attract skilled workers in medicine and information technology (for example). The strong export focus of regional industries means that they must achieve higher efficiencies to compete with other, lower wage countries.

What Stage is this CRC at?

We are in the early stage of the development of this CRC. The intention is to build on a core group of partners who are passionate about the vision and outcomes of this CRC. These partners will refine the objectives and design of the CRC and help to grow the number of partners.


The Smarter Regions CRC brings together a powerful combination of commercial partners with an interest in Agtech, Mining, Forestry, Driverless Vehicles, Retail, IT and Services. The current partner universities include the University of Adelaide, University of Tasmania, University of Sydney, University of Sunshine Coast, University of WA, QUT and University of Wollongong.

We are still open to new partners, but will be closing off accepting new members soon. You would benefit in becoming a member of this CRC if you are a regional businesses or industry sector based in or servicing regional Australia, an education and training provider or a government agency with responsibility for expanding opportunities or delivering services in regional Australia.

Showcase Regions

The CRC is seeking expressions of interest from regions who wanted to capture the full benefit of the Smarter Regions CRC for their communities. ‘Showcase Regions’ would be those that work closely with the CRC to rapidly transform the awareness and capability of their region in AI technologies and capabilities.


Smarter Regions CRC National Workshop(s)

Dates: 22 April & 30 April (12:00 - 2:00PM ACDT)

The Smarter Regions CRC Bid Development Team acknowledges the significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic is placing on communities and the importance of self-care and caring for our family, friends and colleagues. For this reason, we are conducting ALL of our business virtually.

The Smarter Regions CRC will focus on developing knowledge, technologies and products to bring the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to regional Australia.

A National Workshop was scheduled for April 2nd in Melbourne, however, is now an abbreviated virtual meeting for those who can attend. To maximise your opportunity to attend, we are offering the following sessions:

  • 22 April 2020 (12pm to 2pm ACST)
  • 30 April 2020 (12pm to 2pm ACST)

The Smarter Regions CRC will focus on developing knowledge, technologies and products to bring the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to regional Australia.

Smarter Regions CRC will supercharge regional Australia by:

  • Increasing the productivity and profitability of regional businesses;
  • Driving an increase in high wage regional jobs; and
  • Better delivery of services to regional Australians.
  • Increasing exports to global markets;

This workshop is online and free to attend and will draw together world leaders in the field of AI and leading industry players to forge a new future for regional Australia.

Be part of the revolution, profit from it, grow your business and your community - take the lead globally.

The workshop aims to bring interested partners together to provide input to develop the proposed research agenda and create a shared vision.

If you are an industry or community leader who can benefit from AI in your business endeavours in regional Australia; or if you are a researcher with expertise relating to AI in regional Australia, we would love to hear from you.

To REGISTER for the event click below.

Choose from any of the following events:

  • 22 April 2020 (12pm to 2pm ACST)
  • 30 April 2020 (12pm to 2pm ACST)

More Information

For more information on this CRC, please send us a message online or contact:

Bid Development Leader
Professor Javen Qinfeng Shi
Australian Institute for Machine Learning
University of Adelaide, SA, 5005
0423 703 886

Bid Development Leader
Dr Paul Dalby
Australian Institute for Machine Learning
University of Adelaide, SA, 5005
0401 122 204