A message from our Director

Twenty years in Silicon Valley has left me with the distinct sense that we need to keep reasserting the importance of people, and the diversity of our lived experiences, into our conversations about technology and the future.


I have always felt I have an obligation to build the future I want to see. I came home to Australia and founded the 3A Institute to do just that.


We know that Ai-powered cyber-physical systems (CPS) will scale in society. The challenge we face now is how we do that responsibly and sustainably? If we act proactively now, we can avoid some of the negative impacts we have seen during other technological leaps.


In 2017, I put out the call for people. People who were team players, collaborative and wanted to build something. The truly diverse, representative and interdisciplinary team that I brought together are the people you want to build a new world. Opening the conversation to all voices is one way we will go about systematically tackling and taming CPS.


The Australian National University is the right place to have this conversation. We have established the 3A Institute inside the College of Engineering and Computer Science, which has embarked on an ambitious program to reimagine new types of engineering and computing, custom built and fit for the middle of the 21st century.


We need to start creating now for that future 30 years hence, when we are completely embedded in both a digital and physical environment, and are experiencing a climate unrecognisable from the climate of today. We are identifying the skills and knowledge, and the right people to wield them, to manage CPS for a future characterised by economic prosperity, social equality and wellbeing, and environmental sustainability.


A little ambitious. Well, a lot ambitious. But I firmly believe it is possible.


I hope you will join us, in some way, to explore the role of technology in building our future and what it means to be human in a digital world on planet earth.


Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell



Watch our journey to a new branch of engineering: episode 2020 on YouTube

The history of 3Ai

Established in 2017, the 3A Institute (3Ai) sits in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the Australian National University. 3Ai was created as the first of the innovation institutes at the ANU, intended as structures adjacent to established research and teaching programs to explore new education models and pathways towards the application of research.


We are also a flagship initiative of the College of Engineering and Computer Science project to reimagine a new type of engineering and computing, one that is custom built and fit for the middle of the 21st century.


3Ai is a strategic initiative of The Australian National University and as such has its own personality within the ANU brand. The pulse in the 3Ai logo represents a Wi-Fi signal combined with a human ECG signal – it epitomises our mission of keeping humanity in technology.


As an innovation institute, 3Ai has the freedom to experiment, prototype and iterate in developing unique relationships and pathways to action with a range of partners.


3Ai is funded through research and training collaborations with partners, speaking opportunities, and through philanthropic donations. 3Ai received initial seed funding from The Australian National University and CSIRO:Data61.


Our 2019 #3Aifirstcohort was supported by KPMG, Macquarie Group and Microsoft.


Full list of funders (current and previous, not including speaking engagements or training contracts):


Department of Defence


Gillian Pearl

Google (grant)


Macquarie Group

Microsoft Australia

The Australian National University

Fancy a chat?

The 3A Institute is located in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the Australian National University
in Canberra, Australia. Please use the contact form to get in touch or call us on +61 2 6125 8551