A new co-chair professorship between the University of South Australia (UniSA) and the Brittany region of France has opened the door for future collaborations with the defence and naval shipbuilding industries of Australia and France.
In an Australia-first, UniSA has secured funding from Brittany region to provide a "The Professor of Industry of the Future" position. UniSA have matched the funding provided by Brittany.
The chair will be hosted by UniSA and IMT Atlantique, a prestigious French engineering institution, with the University of Southern Brittany.
The position will be the focus of a range of collaborations between UniSA and Brittany institutions, especially in the defence and shipbuilding industries.
Industry of the Future, or Industry 4.0, has been dubbed the "fourth industrial revolution" due to the creation of 'smart factories' that use automation technologies.
“Industry 4.0 is a concept of critical importance to Australia but there is a need to develop far greater educational and research expertise in the field than currently exists in this country,” UniSA vice-chancellor, Professor David Lloyd said.
“I am certain this initiative will be an important step in developing industry-focused research and educational co-operation between France and Australia,” Professor Lloyd said.
The professorship is aiming to adapt "European Industry 4.0 expertise to the Australian industrial landscape, while simultaneously strengthening Brittany-Australia relations and showcasing the Brittany region’s education and research capabilities".
“With such clear benefits in both directions resulting from working together, we’re expecting many more joint ventures between UniSA and the Brittany region over the coming years,” Professor Lloyd said.
The new professor of future industry will spend half their year in Brittany and half in Adelaide, in order to foster staff and student exchange as well as driving innovation interchange between industry and academia in France and Australia.