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Australia's Sunshine Coast Council joins URF

URF is delighted to welcome Sunshine Coast Council - an innovative local government body from Australia - as a new municipal member. The team at URF reached out to Sunshine Coast Council when they were recognised in 2023 (for the fourth year in a row!) as a Global ICF Top7 Intelligent Community.

We believe our readers will be curious to find out more about how the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, is using information and communications technology to build inclusive prosperity, solve social problems and enrich the quality of life for their residents.

Michael Whereat, Sunshine Coast Smart Cities Lead, emphasizes the importance of being proactive in managing potential impacts as the era of robotics unfolds. He states: " Our membership with URF underscores our commitment to exploring the implications of robotics and staying ahead of the curve. In our Smart Cities Framework & Implementation Plan (SCF&IP), Sunshine Coast Council outlines the reasons for preparing for the future, encompassing realised smart city solutions, future megatrends and a focus on global connectivity. Joining URF aligns with council’s goal to provide leadership and advice within local government in anticipation of the integration of robotics."

Robotics and accessibility: a perfect match

Michael highlights the synergy between robotics and achieving high-quality accessibility. "Council recognises the importance of having infrastructure that is ready for the age of robotics and making the region easily navigable for all, including devices. Their perspective extends beyond the role of council, aiming to inform developers about the significance of accessibility for robots and inviting them to contribute toward better accessibility."

Testing Tech in Paradise

In addition to its Top 7 Intelligent Community accolades, the Sunshine Coast, Australia is a fast-growing tech hub and is welcoming technology-focused businesses to Test their Tech in Paradise!.

And despite its obvious natural beauty, the Sunshine Coast is not just another pretty face – it’s a region that has invested heavily in digital infrastructure. The master-planned central business district (CBD) is a smart city, equipped with the latest data networking technology including WiFi 6; a city-wide deployment of fibre broadband; LoRaWAN wireless network access points and multi-function pole infrastructure.

The CBD is home to the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network (SCIBN) cable landing station and NEXTDC’s SC1 data centre, providing the fastest east coast connection to Asia and unparalleled options for low-latency connectivity between the region and destinations in the USA.

This digital infrastructure makes the Sunshine Coast CBD an ideal location for tech companies to test and trial their new technologies. Whether it’s urban robots, IoT devices, sports-tech applications or next-gen consumer electronics, the city centre’s robust digital backbone means companies can run real-world tests without any hiccups.

SCC's path forward with URF: a learning journey across the globe

Becoming a member of URF was not just a short-term decision for Sunshine Coast Council; it's a strategic move to reinforce their leadership in the realm of urban robotics. Acknowledging that the implications of robotics transcend geographical boundaries, council’s involvement in URF allows them to learn from and share experiences with counterparts globally.

Want to find out more?

  • Gain insights into council’s vision, initiatives and the role of urban robotics in shaping the future of the Sunshine Coast.

  • Discover how council is actively testing and integrating technology into the landscape of its picturesque paradise. From smart intersections to robotic accessibility solutions, SCC is at the forefront of innovation and they welcome pilot project proposals.

Join URF

Sharing best practices and learning from each other is a key benefit of membership in URF. As a non-profit organization, we strive to keep membership affordable and accessible for all. Please join us on this journey to prepare for the benefits of public-area mobile robots while minimizing the risks and challenges.

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