skip to Main Content

New Australia-UK research ties will advance shipbuilding

Australian and UK researchers and innovators have moved a step closer to establishing an Advanced Manufacturing Research Exchange to collaborate on modern manufacturing methods that could be adapted to shipbuilding and marine operations under way in both hemispheres.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Flinders University, the University of Strathclyde – operator of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland – and BAE Systems is a key step in the establishment of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Exchange to foster closer working relationships and facilitate the development of international best practice for shipbuilding manufacturing methods and processes.

This includes exploring innovative applications of advanced manufacturing, digital tools and Industry 4.0 in shipbuilding, spanning automation and robotics, simulation and modelling, materials and light weighting, as well as welding and joining technologies.

The MoU was formalised at a signing ceremony in Glasgow, where South Australia’s Deputy Premier Susan Close announced $120,000 would be invested to support the establishment of the Exchange.

An exchange of expertise and collaboration at the Factory of the Future at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland would open up prospects for the adoption of ground-breaking manufacturing technologies and processes, potentially driving the growth of advanced manufacturing for shipbuilding in South Australia (SA) and the UK.

Supporting advanced shipyards in both Adelaide and Glasgow, any innovative research arising from the MoU is intended to focus on facilitating the adoption of new technologies deployed effectively to bolster the Hunter-class Frigate Program, underway at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in SA, and the future shipbuilding programs at BAE Systems’ Govan yard on the River Clyde. It has the potential to lead to knowledge transfer and secondment opportunities between Australia and Scotland.

Flinders University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Stirling, said, “Knowing first-hand the quality of research in Glasgow, it’s great to see our experts at Flinders University’s Australian Industrial Transformation Institute working with the University of Strathclyde and BAE Systems, reinforcing the importance of industry collaboration by actively supporting the shipbuilding industry with solutions benefiting both the UK and Australian naval industries.”

Professor John Spoehr, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research Innovation and Director of The Australian Industrial Transformation Institute (AITI), said, “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 by possible by our joint research expertise.”

Principal and Vice-Chancellor of University of Strathclyde and Chair of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland Board, Professor Sir Jim McDonald, said: “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.”

Back To Top