The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) will host a new $2 million research institute that will act as “the national focal point for IoT innovation” and start-ups.

Called the Knowledge Economy Institute (KEi), it is based in the Faculty of Engineering and IT and will work collaboratively with Sirca and the Communications Alliance’s IoT think tank.

KEi will be led by Mike Briers, who is also being appointed as “Australia’s first Professor of IoT at UTS”, according to a statement from Communications Alliance.

“Working in the online realm, now dubbed the 'Internet of Things', the institute's researchers will focus on utilising the vast and varied array of data collected globally to develop useful new financial models, products and even processes of value to industry and other sectors,” UTS said in a statement.

Communications Alliance said there were plans “underway to establish other IoT implantation hubs in other capital cities.”

UTS vice-chancellor Professor Attila Brungs said digital technology such as IoT could be used to solve some of the biggest challenges facing Australia today.

"This is why UTS has invested $2 million in establishing the Institute and appointed Mike Briers with his invaluable academic expertise and industry knowledge and connections to be its leader,” Brungs said.