Deakin University in Victoria has been highlighted as a major player in developing the Geelong region’s defence and other manufacturing capabilities.
CEO of Geelong Chamber of Commerce Bernadette Uzelac told Defence Connect that the research and development capabilities for manufacturing in the region can be attributed to the Geelong university.
"Our manufacturing sector has really morphed into advanced and high-tech,” said Uzelac. “Deakin University is very much part of that, driving a lot of the R&D in that sector."
Referring to the various aircraft at Avalon Airshow 2017, including the Joint Strike Fighter planes, Uzelac said that Deakin University has greatly contributed to the future of the Australian defence and manufacturing industry.
"With the work that Deakin University is doing, this is really keeping it real," Uzelac said.
"We've got the jets with us right now. Deakin University has played a major role in nurturing and commercialising some of that technology. Carbon Revolution is one of those. They're doing a lot of work in haptics.
"They are all of those sorts of areas which are going to be absolutely so critical to our defence capability into the future."
Deakin University is a public university with over 50,000 students, as of 2014.
In September 2016, Deakin entered a partnership with RCR, one of Australia’s leading disciplinary infrastructure and engineering firms, for the development of a world-first robotics-driven target system, for use by armed forces in training to enable better accuracy.
The research engineers behind the unique technology, dubbed the OzBot Raider, presented the system to the Australian Army in October last year.
The university aimed to strengthen its ongoing relationship with the Australian Defence Force by appointing Professor Saeid Nahavandi as the nation’s first pro-vice-chancellor for defence technologies.
Professor Nahavandi said his focus would be to lead projects to bring together the Australian Defence Force, defence industry representatives and academics, to deliver sustainable contributions in the defence and security domains.
"My role will be to build on the key part Deakin has played in Defence development for more than three decades, which began with the post-graduate accreditation of Australian Army's Command and Staff College courses in the 1980s," he said.