UNSW Canberra and Canberra-based Company Biometix have successfully secured Commonwealth funding to undertake a collaborative research project.

The project will see experts from UNSW Canberra work alongside Biometix focusing on producing synthetic biometric data for analyses within biometric standardised testing routines.

Current biometric testing is limited due to the need to use real-life examples, which is difficult, expensive and has the additional concerns around privacy and consent for those involved.

A synthetically produced biometric data set would reduce cost, complexity, and erase privacy concerns associated with test datasets which can be utilised to assess biometric performance hence, enabling more secure, usable, and fair biometric solutions.

UNSW Canberra Senior Lecturer Dr Timothy Lynar said that this collaboration continues the work between UNSW Canberra and SMEs in the nation’s capital, in a rapidly growing area in both size and importance.

“The benefits of working with Biometix is the possibility to complete and publish industry relevant research in the field of emerging generative algorithms,” he said.

Dr Ted Dunstone, Managing Director of Biometix, said the company is excited to be working with UNSW Canberra to explore this line of testing in a more rigorous fashion.

“If successful, a tool for producing synthetic data in a way that allows for accurate testing will be game changing. We will be able to undertake more accurate assessments that will be cost efficient.

“As we move towards a complete digital identity check (as opposed to the paper-based 100-point check) it will be more important than ever for the identification process to be tested thoroughly and regularly so that people can be assured of the safety and security of the online process. This work and the research behind it form an important foundation element for this new process,” Dr Dunstone said.

“We’re looking forward to getting the project underway and making this happen.”

The funding was awarded as part of the Innovation Connections grant program. Innovation Connections assists businesses to understand their research needs, connect with the research sector and fund collaborative research projects.

Biometix is an internationally biometric and data analytics industry innovator providing experienced, independent biometric consulting resources to government bodies, and organisations globally. In 2020 Biometix spun off BixeLab, which is the only NIST and FIDO accredited testing laboratory in the Southern Hemisphere. BixeLab provides a formalised setting for biometric testing and assurance to organisations nationally and internationally.

Engineering at UNSW Canberra is an innovative community of students, educators, and researchers committed to building a healthier, more sustainable future. From cybersecurity and software engineering to sustainable infrastructure and space technologies, its mission is to foster the next generation of technology decision-makers that will shape Australia’s defence and security future.