Siemens and Flinders University announce technology-education partnership


Siemens and Flinders University have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on defence, energy efficiency and food and beverage – critical areas for the state of South Australia. The broad scope of the collaboration can be summed up as a “technology-education partnership”. During the virtual signing event, Siemens Australia President and CEO Jeff Connolly emphasized that now more than ever, industries and educational institutions need to work closely together. “The days of siled approaches between academia and industry are over,” Connolly said. “Only together can we truly build a future workforce with high-tech skills and ready-to-use outcomes that meet the needs of business and society.”

Jeff Connoly.

Flinders University is a founding partner of the South Australian Government’s Tonsley Innovation District and Siemens has been an anchor tenant at the site since the early days of the redevelopment. “Flinders University is one of South Australia’s great learning institutions and we have a long-standing relationship with them, especially after experiencing the success and growth of the Tonsley redevelopment together. This Memorandum of Understanding aims to formalize that relationship and set us on a path that will support South Australia in vital areas such as defence, food and drink and energy efficiency,” Connolly said. “I particularly like the mission of Flinders University, which is to…changing lives and changing the world. It’s very much in line with our worldview and the role of technology in transforming the world and creating a sustainable future – environmentally, economically and socially,” Connolly said.

Siemens and Flinders University see this as a pivotal time for South Australia to secure its long-term future. Through such partnerships, the state can leverage its many natural strengths and assets and opportunities by embracing areas such as digital skills development and securing a prosperous long-term future.

Colin Stirling.

The President and Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University, Professor Colin Stirling, stressed the importance of industrial and academic collaboration and the significance of the MoU with Siemens. “Our partnership with Siemens means that we are working directly with one of the largest and most technologically advanced companies in the world, whose high-tech software, automation and electrification are driving everything from NASA’s Mars Rover program to major Navy and Air Force programs in the US and UK, and much of the food and drink industry, including the famous Coopers Brewery and even Haigh’s Chocolates. This is an exciting step forward for the University and its students as we formalize the nature of our relationship,” said Stirling. “Over the years, I have had the chance to experience firsthand the power of the German approach to engineering and technology and have visited a number of Siemens facilities and reference sites in Germany.Siemens is a very impressive organization and I ‘hold on looking forward to the results this Memorandum of Understanding will drive for our students as well as for South Australia in general,” said Stirling.

“I want our university to be the source of Australia’s most enterprising graduates,” Professor Stirling said. “And to achieve this, we need to work closely with the most enterprising companies that have stood the test of time. Not only are Siemens the biggest industrial software company, the biggest automation company and behind much of the world’s electrification, they are also part of the fabric of South Australia having founded the Australian business here even in 1872 with the commissioning of the Darwin-Adelaide land telegraph. By establishing this relationship with Flinders, Siemens is partnering with an educational institution determined to change and make a difference at a pivotal time in global manufacturing; a generational shift that ushers in new waves of automated technologies and new ways of creating,” Stirling said.

The MoU is designed to support the many transitions and ambitions enabled by technology, such as net zero goals, the transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (a German-originated concept known as Industry 4.0) , smarter cities and infrastructure, and even support for the nation’s sovereign defense. capacity, in which South Australia plays an important role.

“By embracing digitalization, including high-tech software, digital twin technologies and data platforms, our local industries can improve quality, reduce costs and operational downtime, increase speed, achieve higher safety standards, being more efficient with scarce resources, gaining flexibility to pivot during times like COVID – and ultimately being more competitive and having a greater positive impact,” Stirling said. “This MoU is an important signal for the future of the University and for having a much more integrated and collaborative approach to creating the workforce of the future.”

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