Flinders University has congratulated BAE Systems Australia for its successful bid in the $35-billion SEA 5000 Future Frigate program which promises to open up hundreds of new opportunities for graduates from the university and VET sectors.
Vice-chancellor Professor Colin Stirling said: "We congratulate BAE Systems for its successful bid for SEA 5000 and look forward to working collaboratively in support of the Future Frigate program. Projects like this will greatly accelerate South Australia’s efforts to generate highly skilled jobs and sophisticated manufacturing companies."
Flinders looks forward to working closely with BAE and its partners to help train the shipbuilding workforce of the future.
This will include training and use of the latest advanced manufacturing technologies and state-of-the-art training facilities at the Tonsley Manufacturing Innovation Hub, along with a range of other research and training collaborations.
Under a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding, Flinders University will have access to BAE Systems’ digital shipbuilding tools, processes and methodologies and turn these into development programs to train the people who will build the Future Frigates and integrate the ships’ complex operating systems.
The research and development collaboration will have an emphasis on autonomous marine vehicles, a future technology that could greatly enhance Australia’s capability to detect and deter submarines.
“We are committed to working with BAE to help build the skills and capability base necessary to ensure that Australia is able to fully leverage the employment and industry dividends that will flow from the Future Frigate project,” he said.
Flinders University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robert Saint, defence partnerships director Tony Kyriacou and the director of Flinders’ Centre for Maritime Engineering Associate Professor Karl Sammut are in the UK in discussions with BAE and mutual partners.
Beyond the ships’ construction, BAE Systems Australia and Flinders University will forge a new relationship that aims to train the shipbuilding workforce of the future, and develop new ways to provide Australia’s defence force with enhanced capabilities.
“The opportunity to work with leading international partners is aligned with Flinders’ strategic priorities and we look forward to working collaboratively on research and training initiatives that are supporting Australia’s advanced manufacturing industry, furthering research and contributing to employment and economic growth,” Professor Stirling says.
In 2017, Flinders University became a member of BAE Systems Australia’s Joint Open Innovation Network (JOIN), a national initiative to drive research, development and innovation of defence technologies. 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.
Globally focused and locally engaged, Flinders University has a well-earned reputation for innovative research and excellence in teaching and learning.
Flinders University, with its Tonsley Manufacturing Innovation Hub, is actively linking with international institutions to build collaborative networks in the areas of defence industry R&D, and more broadly around Industry 4.0 and advanced manufacturing.