French software firm and 3D specialist Dassault Systèmes has partnered with the University of Adelaide to open its regional centre in Adelaide, specialising in virtual technology research to support its virtual shipyard project and South Australia’s defence industry.
The South Australian regional centre is on campus at the University of Adelaide. Dassault Systèmes, which is establishing a virtual shipyard development program to help prepare SA manufacturers for lucrative opportunities on the upcoming defence shipbuilding projects, will create a new Adelaide-based team comprising staff from France and India, and will host University of Adelaide interns at its Adelaide operations.
The South Australian regional centre, the first Dassault Systèmes office to be established at an Australian university, will be embedded in one of the flagship engineering buildings on the University's North Terrace campus.
"The colocation of Dassault Systèmes in the heart of where we conduct engineering teaching and research will provide a deeper link between the University of Adelaide and a global industry leader," said the university's vice-chancellor, Professor Peter Rathjen.
"Our growing partnership with Dassault Systèmes means that our engineering students will have further opportunities to develop industry-ready skills, enabling them to serve the defence sector in South Australia.
"This signals a new era of industry engagement for our university, helping to prepare our graduates for the transformation of the South Australian economy."
Masaki Sox Konno, Dassault Systèmes managing director for Asia-Pacific South, said the company sees an immense opportunity in Adelaide as naval shipbuilding projects edge closer to commencement.
"With South Australia preparing for major defence contracts, including the Future Frigates and Future Submarines programs, we see a critical role for Dassault Systèmes in providing solutions for defence and other industries in this state," Sox Konno said.
"We are delighted to be establishing our South Australian regional centre at the University of Adelaide. Dassault Systèmes and the university share many joint interests, such as in STEM education, defence, smart cities, mining, energy and agriculture."
The partnership between the French firm and the university comes after they signed an agreement in 2017 to implement a specialised industry-focused curriculum for engineering students.
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"Our partnership with Dassault Systèmes is a perfect example of what can be achieved through international collaboration to co-create the workforce of the future," said the university's deputy vice-chancellor (academic), Professor Pascale Quester.
"Where better to see that partnership thrive and grow than right on our campus, helping to prepare students for the technology-led work environments of the future."
The new Dassault Systèmes office is expected to open later this year.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne attended the announcement of the signing between Dassault and the University of Adelaide and said the partnership will help develop Adelaide students for jobs of the future in Defence and other industries.
"This agreement is part of a growing partnership between Dassault and the university," Minister Pyne said.
"It is aimed at increasing industry participation at the university, improving the student curriculum, giving them industry experience and helping to make them job-ready."
The minister added the University of Adelaide has long and well-established links with Defence as its largest research partner, with 157 agreements valued at $13 million negotiated since July 2014.
"It is home to the Defence Research and Innovation Network, which I had the pleasure to launch in November last year,” Minister Pyne said.
"It is also involved in projects under the Next Generation Technologies Fund, conducting ten early-stage research projects in areas relating to intelligence systems, trusted autonomy, autonomous tactical networks and unmanned vehicles.
"I congratulate Dassault Systemes and the University of Adelaide on this initiative."