A leading defence firm has continued expanding its presence in Australia, signing a memorandum of understanding with a South Australian university.
Northrop Grumman Australia and Flinders University signed an MoU to provide collaborative research and support of education and training programs for defence-related programs.
Flinders University vice-chancellor Professor Colin Stirling and Northrop Grumman Australia chief executive Ian Irving signed the MoU with Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne as a witness, welcoming the commitment of the university and defence prime in growing Australia's skill and technology base.
The MoU will offer opportunities for internships, work experience and graduate programs for Flinders students and will also encourage the participation of Northrop Grumman staff in education and training programs that Flinders offers.
Irving said the agreement marks the start of a new relationship with a leading education provider.
"We are excited to be partnering with one of the nation’s leading education and research institutions," Irving said.
"South Australia is a key defence hub for the nation and Northrop Grumman Australia’s engagement with Flinders University is a significant part of our commitment to deepening engagement with academic institutions and up-skilling future workers for cutting-edge defence programs in this state and around the nation."
The MoU will help students acquire the technological and practical skills to meet industry demand in areas such as simulation and autonomous systems, as well as growing Australian capability through joint research.
Minister Pyne said the new partnership will promote closer collaboration and co-operation between industry and academia.
"This new partnership will promote research and education co-operation between the two organisations to support current and future defence related programs," Minister Pyne said.
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"This is a win-win for both academia and industry, allowing both organisations to share innovative ideas and knowledge that will not only benefit the defence industry and innovation sector, but also further education and training in defence related programs."
The minister added that the agreement will provide greater opportunities to the defence industry and innovation sector, and will support the growth and development of Australia’s skills and technology base.
"Engagement between defence companies and academic institutions is vital to the up-skilling of future workers for cutting-edge defence programs in South Australia and around the nation, and I welcome these two parties joining together for this important agreement," Minister Pyne said.
Stirling said the partnership will provide the university with better opportunities to develop its students' skills and experiences.
"We believe this MoU with Northrop Grumman will further enhance our world-class research and education, helping equip our students to develop the skills and knowledge required to become future leaders in the defence sector and the knowledge economy more broadly," Stirling said.
"Flinders University welcomes the opportunity for collaboration with an industry powerhouse such as Northrop Grumman to create significant opportunities and benefits for our students, the South Australian community and for the national economy."