Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Optus, along with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Mastercard, are coming together as part of a new Future Transport Digital Accelerator in Sydney.
The new accelerator, located at the NSW Government’s Sydney Startup Hub in the city’s CBD, is aimed at facilitating direct collaboration between the public and private sectors, connecting teams from the NSW Transport cluster with industry, researchers, entrepreneurs and start-ups in the digital space.
The first focus of the new accelerator, which is being launched in partnership with Transport for NSW and the City Innovation Foundation, will be on exploring mobility-as-a-service for users of the state’s transport services.
For the NSW Government, mobility-as-a-service represents the concept that all travel options can be accessed through a single platform or app.
“It would be hard to think about your daily bus or train ride to work without using your real time transport apps, so just imagine what these incubator partnerships could provide for the future of our transport network,” NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said.
“Out of this partnership we look forward to seeing what developers and innovators will be able to come up with, whether that’s better management of network capacity or improved mobility and connectivity,” he said.
Broadly, the Future Transport Digital Accelerator is designed to support and fast-track Future Transport Technology Roadmap initiatives.
“Transport for NSW’s Future Transport Technology Roadmap includes a series of 15 no regrets initiatives designed to practically enhance the customer experience and how Transport delivers services,” the NSW Government said on its Future Transport Technology website.
“Some initiatives extend existing customer channels or operational systems, while others apply technology intelligently to disrupt long-established traditional transport systems and processes such as timetabling and traffic modelling,” it said.
According to the state government, the initiatives will be piloted under ‘test and learn’ conditions and scaled up once they’re shown to work effectively.
The new accelerator is housed in the same Sydney hub where Microsoft has headquartered its ScaleUp accelerator program in Australia.
The Sydney-based iteration of the global ScaleUp program was the eighth such start-up accelerator to be launched by Microsoft, with others already operating in cities such as Seattle, Beijing, Berlin and London.
According to Microsoft Australia managing director, Steven Worrall, the new Sydney-based ScaleUp program is expected to give local tech start-ups the chance to not only tap into Microsoft’s resources, but also those of its broader partner network.