Under the agreement, which will also involve Fincantieri subsidiary CETENA, the organisations will work together to pursue academic and educational co-operation by establishing a program that will see the exchange of University of Adelaide undergraduates and post-graduate students, lecturers and professors, researchers and technical and administrative staff to Fincantieri and CETENA facilities in Italy; collaboration in research in complex technical and scientific fields of common interest; and the development of initiatives aimed at sharing lessons in governance and management.
The MoU also includes a commitment to develop joint projects across the public and private sectors and to continue to search for further opportunities and areas for collaboration in the future.
Fincantieri Australia director Sean Costello said that, as the University of Adelaide is one of the country’s leading educational institutions, the move reinforces Fincantieri’s commitment to its industry plan to develop a continuous shipbuilding industry that will enable Australia to design and build its next generation of vessels.
"This partnership will allow Fincantieri to transfer our knowledge and technology to University of Adelaide students, academics and technical staff, equipping them with the right education and training capabilities as the federal government’s naval shipbuilding plan enters a critical phase," Costello said.
"This MoU between Fincantieri Australia, CETENA and the University of Adelaide shows the strong co-operation between Australian and Italian industries and demonstrates our commitment to the transference and sharing of knowledge and growing the global opportunities for Australian industry. With its existing strengths in research and education, the University of Adelaide is an ideal partner for Fincantieri Australia."
The University of Adelaide’s pro vice-chancellor (entrepreneurship), Professor Noel Lindsay, added that the MoU allows the university to expand its research and academic capabilities in shipbuilding and defence at a crucial time for these industries in the city of Adelaide.
"We’re very excited about working with such an iconic global organisation such as Fincantieri and its subsidiary CETENA. Their clear commitment to innovation and development aligns perfectly with the university’s approach to building entrepreneurial capacity not just within our student cohort, but the community as a whole. We’re looking forward to developing some unique and interesting projects together," Professor Lindsay said.
President and CEO of CETENA Sandro Scarrone said it will draw on its history of working with Italian research institutions as it prepares to work collaboratively with the University of Adelaide.
"CETENA has a long history of working with leading Italian research institutions, including the University of Genoa. We are excited by the opportunity to work collaboratively with the University of Adelaide and share our experiences across teaching, science, management and culture," he said.
Fincantieri is one of three contenders for the $35 billion SEA 5000 project. It has offered its FREMM design against BAE System's Type 26 and Navantia's F-5000.
While a decision on the project was initially due in April and then late May, it has been pushed back to June.