BAE & Manufacturing Institute shipbuilding partnership

BAE Systems & National Manufacturing Institute Scotland agree to collaborate on modern manufacturing methods in shipbuilding, using automation innovation

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between BAE Systems, Flinders University and the University of Strathclyde – operator of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland. This begins the establishment of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Exchange for stronger working relationships and the development of Industry 4.0 manufacturing methods in shipbuilding.

Advanced manufacturing includes automation and joining technologies

South Australia’s Deputy Premier Susan Close was present at the signing ceremony, where she said AUD$120,000 would be invested in support of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Exchange.  

Industry 4.0 used in shipbuilding, such as automation and robotics, simulation and modelling and joining technologies will be explored.

Advanced manufacturing and Factories of the Future

Professor John Spoehr, Flinders University Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research Innovation and Director of The Australian Industrial Transformation Institute (AITI), said he was excited to support the digital shipyard agenda.

“Underpinning advanced shipbuilding research and industry collaboration in Australia and the UK, this agreement is bolstered by funding enabling post-doctoral researcher exchange and the sharing of specialised digital and advanced manufacturing skills to support the digital shipyard agenda.

“Collaboration with BAE Systems ensures researchers at Flinders University and Strathclyde are engaging with the latest modern manufacturing processes on large-scale shipbuilding which can directly benefit from the accelerated adoption of new and innovative technologies, like those made possible by our joint research expertise.

“Supported by AUD$19m from the federal and state governments, the Factory of the Future at Flinders University’s Tonsley campus facilitates the deployment of advanced technologies through world-leading research and capability building, in support of South Australian and UK shipyards and supply chains.” 

Principal and Vice-Chancellor of University of Strathclyde and Chair of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland Board, Professor Sir Jim McDonald, said he looked forward to seeing the long-term benefits of the working relationship.

“I am delighted to sign this agreement which enables our innovative research to directly link into modern manufacturing and has huge potential long-term benefits for the shipbuilding sector, both here in Scotland and in Australia.

“As a leading technological university, we are committed to delivering impact, and to see our research deliver cutting-edge solutions and improve practice in industry across Scotland and the UK, as well as internationally.

“I look forward to the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and wider University of Strathclyde working closely with our partners BAE Systems and Flinders University, to help develop international best practice and new technologies to strengthen shipbuilding manufacturing. This partnership also opens up a potential pipeline for collaborative research, knowledge exchange, high impact innovative solutions and opportunities in education and training between the two countries.”


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