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Flinders University - developing the next generation defence workforce and technologies

By Karen Ashford, Director of Media and Communications, Flinders University, and Christopher Goldsworthy, Director of Strategy, BHERT.


Collaboration supported by Next Generation Technologies Fund

Flinders University and the Department of Defence have entered a new phase of collaboration, supported by the federal government’s Next Generation Technologies Fund.

Flinders is forging a defence-oriented strategy and cross-disciplinary approach to key growth industries including maritime engineering, nanotechnology, energetics, forensic and analytical science, robotics, systems engineering, control and imaging and cybersecurity.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Honourable Senator Christopher Pyne says Flinders and other universities play a vital role in research and development to build defence capability. "It is important that universities are able to develop the skills needed by the workforce of Australia's burgeoning defence industry," says Pyne. 

"Defence has a well-established Defence Science Partnership program with 33 Australian universities, to collaborate on defence research projects. And the Defence Science and Technology Group is fully engaged with universities in developing game-changing capabilities under the Next Generation Technologies Fund."


Northrop Grumman Australia Chief Executive Ian Irving, Minister for Defence Industry
Christopher Pyne, and Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling


With $90 billion worth of naval shipbuilding projects taking place in South Australia,Professor John Spoehr, Director of Flinders’ Australian Industrial Transformation Institute says “it's important that we take the engineering and science teams out of pure R&D and open them up to industries that need to increase their capability, especially their digital manufacturing capability." 

In collaboration with German tech giant Festo, Flinders has established one of the few Future Factories in the southern hemisphere, the Tonsley Manufacturing Innovation Hub, which is spearheading the development of i4.0 capacity for SMEs through to Defence Primes.

Last year 22 universities participated in A$5.7 million of projects under the NGTF scheme.

Read more about the collaboration

Flinders University

Flinders University is a globally connected, locally engaged institution that exemplifies teaching, learning and research excellence. A member of the Innovative Research Universities network, Flinders ranks in the world’s top 2% of universities.

We’re making a difference in areas such as molecular science and technology, defence, engineering, water and environment, to medicine, mental health, and digital health. ERA ranks 90% of our research at or above world standard.Our high tech Tonsley campus is located within South Australia’s premier Innovation District, facilitating our engagement with companies committed to the development and application of advanced technologies. Tonsley is also home to the Flinders New Venture Institute, a leader in entrepreneurship programs.

Driving collaboration across business, industry and tertiary education.

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