Flinders University in South Australia means the three key South Australian universities — Adelaide University, University of South Australia and now Flinders University — are network members, supporting new tertiary engineering scholarships, internships and undergraduate industry placements.
BAE Systems Australia has committed to contributing up to $10 million to the initiative that will also involve the creation of new defence-focused courses and targeted research and development.
The Joint Open Innovation Network will focus on activities to support the upgrade of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) and the development of future JORN and intelligence surveillance reconnaissance capability.
JOIN also aims to support industry with the establishment of an innovation laboratory that will provide a secure facility to allow greater collaboration to develop new, or improve existing, defence technologies.
BAE Systems Australia chief executive Glynn Phillips said: "I am delighted that this initiative is expanding and look forward to other academic partners and industry joining us to support development of cutting edge technology to meet the future defence needs of the country."
Flinders University president and vice-chancellor Professor Colin Stirling said the move illustrates Flinders' strength in the defence sector and academia.
"The move reinforces Flinders’ strength in the defence sector," said Professor Stirling.
"Industry partnerships like this are the key to the smart economy. BAE Systems gets to harness a wide range of skills, whilst our researchers can apply their knowledge to research that addresses the very specific needs of the company, and our students graduate with sought-after, real world experience.
"The relationships that Flinders is forging in defence here and internationally ensures we’re at the forefront of innovation and contributing to the transformation of the economy."
Flinders University is ranked amongst the world's top 2 per cent of universities 90 per cent of Flinders University’s research has been ranked at or above world standard by ERA (Excellence in Research Australia). Their research strengths include defence, engineering, molecular science and technology, and water and environment.
At the time of the JOIN launch, BAE Systems Australia said it would encourage other academic institutions and industry members to become involved to support the continued development of new technology for the defence sector.
BAE Systems will support the Joint Open Innovation Network participants to fast track new technologies and products developed through the program to export markets through its global supply chain.
Twenty-eight university graduates and six interns are starting roles with BAE Systems. A number of final year engineering projects will soon be offered by the company, together with scholarships for first year (2016) engineering students.