Connecting researchers with Australian industry innovators

Back to Stories
Creating a data-rich search platform to connect Australian researcher expertise with industry. Expert Connect is an economic "linkage" platform developed with CSIRO's Data61 to make it easier for businesses and innovation connectors to discover Australian expertise with subject matter expertise and a desire to collaborate.


CSIRO's Data61


Expert Connect


Federal GovernmentResearch & Academia


1 Year

Technology Themes

Apache NiFi AWS Cloud Hosting Elasticsearch MongoDB React JavaScript UI Scala Play Framework TypeScript Development User Interface Accessibility (A11Y)


Australia has struggled to achieve impactful collaboration (“linkage”) between our industry and research sectors. CSIRO’s Data61 was tasked with helping to bring together innovators in Australian industry with academic researcher expertise. The goal being to boost linkage success rates by creating a smart search platform that could assist in facilitating researchers to connect with the right innovators in industry, and for industry to access specific subject matter expertise.

Agile Digital partnered with CSIRO/Data61 computer scientists to design, implement, and launch the Expert Connect online platform to bring together information Australian researcher expertise and make it easily discoverable.


Our goal was the collate large and disparate datasets that could constitute “signals of expertise” for Australian researchers. We then needed to apply an algorithm to create “expert profiles” for each researcher that could be searched for based on area of knowledge. The initial strategy was to:

  • Acquire and ingest large publicly-available datasets on patents, Australian academics and scientific publications.
  • Implement search functionality to cater to the nuance of academic quality naming conventions, ensuring accuracy and that incorrect references or citations didn’t happen as a result of using the platform conventions.
  • Seamless integration was required between the experience layer and the search capability.
  • Meet government web interface accessibility and security standards.
  • Meet a tight time frame of three months for the initial platform design, development and launch.


In partnership with CSIRO, Agile Digital co-developed the Expert Connect and Innovation Challenge Connect platforms. Working in tandem with the Data61 team who focused on researcher profile creation, Agile Digital worked on the “big data” ingestion and search technologies. In additional to experiential layer and integrations with disparte data sources.

The platform was strategically designed with collaborative workshops, and the team kicked into development mode with a very tight 17-week deadline to meet the first launch deadline.

Agile Digital’s native cross-functional and collaborative approach ensured the deadline was met while allowing the Data61 team to really understand what could be achieved by aggregating and presenting a disparate range of data in an industry-friendly way.


Agile Digital successfully partnered with Data61 to deliver the Expert Connect platform that enabled informed decision making on future development.

The deadline was met, with the initial beta featuring 45,000 researcher profiles and successfully launched by the then Assistant Minister Craig Laundy. Further development on the platform saw the number of researcher profile reach ~100,000.

The project received two category Merit Awards at the 2018 ACT iAwards:

  • AIIA Infrastructure and Platforms Innovation of the Year.
  • AIIA Public Sector and Government Award.

“The Agile Digital team approach projects with a level of commitment and flexibility that is truly rare. The team were crucial to the timely delivery of Expert Connect, and their collaborative work with Data61 researchers has resulted in a beta platform which is professionally finished and which is already generating great interest.”

Dr. Rebecca Hinton, Partnership Programs Manager, Data61

How can we help?

Are you ready to elevate your operations?

We’d love to talk with you about how to revolutionise your organisation by achieving lofty technology goals, boosting performance or empowering your team to work at their peak in a digital future.

Connect with us