Wednesday, April 17, 2024

SA signs historic partnership with US Navy research centre

South Australia’s defence research capability is set to be boosted by a history-making partnership which will see Flinders University become the first Australian university to join forces with a key United States Navy research centre.

The landmark Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Naval Undersea Warfare Centre (NUWC) Division Newport marks a significant step forward in advancing collaborative research between the United States and Australia in the field of undersea technology, said SA Premier, Peter Malinauskas.

“Building ships and submarines in our state will deliver thousands of jobs at Osborne. But this endeavour is about more than cutting steel,” said the Premier.

“This research partnership is exactly what we’re seeking – more highly educated South Australians doing more complicated and interesting work in a way that builds the overall complexity of our economy.

“That will deliver us a higher standard of living for our state.

“I congratulate Flinders University on its leadership in seizing on the opportunity presented to our state by the AUKUS partnership,” he said.

NUWC Division Newport is the US Navy’s full-spectrum research, development, test and evaluation, engineering, and fleet support centre for submarine warfare systems and other systems associated with the undersea battlespace.

Under the terms of the CRADA, Flinders University and NUWC commit to working together to identify and collaborate on cutting-edge research projects and initiatives related to undersea technology.

The historic collaboration will enable Flinders University’s world-class researchers and NUWC Division Newport’s undersea experts to combine their complementary skills, capabilities, and technologies to address critical Navy challenges and opportunities at an accelerated pace.

“Our partnership with NUWC Division Newport signifies a new era in undersea technology research, where the best minds from Australia and the United States will join forces to address critical challenges and opportunities,” said Flinders University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Stirling.

“Flinders is proud to be at the forefront of advancing submarine defence capabilities in Australia. This landmark collaboration reinforces Flinders’ position as a global leader in underwater technologies and underscores our dedication to innovative research.

“We look forward to the transformative research outcomes and educational outcomes that will arise from this partnership.”

The CRADA opens opportunities for Flinders University researchers to develop rapid solutions, future partnerships, skills exchange, and opportunities for impactful on-site training to develop expertise in undersea technology, contributing to the advancement of Australian and US joint interests.

Some 5,500 direct jobs will be created to build the SSN-AUKUS submarines in South Australia when the program reaches its peak in 20 to 30 years.

NUWC Division Newport is the oldest warfare centre in the USA, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869.

Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Sececa Lake and Fisher’s Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida , and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

“NUWC Newport is excited to enter into a Collaborative Research Agreement with Flinders University,” said NUWC Division Newport Chief Technology Officer, Dr Jason Gomez.

“With the growing importance of the undersea domain, we are continuously looking to expand our research base and tap into the knowledge and talent of academia. Flinders University is a great partner and has a wide array of overlapping and complimentary research interests with NUWC.

“We look forward to establishing long lasting research collaborations that will provide both a technology development and expert workforce pipeline, to help provide an enduring foundation for the AUKUS agreement,” he said.

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