Swinburne boosted by record Siemens $135m software grant

Siemens CEO Jeff Connolly and Swinburne Prof Aleksandar Subic

Siemens CEO Jeff Connolly and Swinburne Prof Aleksandar Subic

The largest ever software grant in Australia has been granted to Swinburne University by manufacturing giant Siemens.

The $135 million industrial digitalisation software grant will be used to fully digitalise the Swinburne University of Technology ‘Factory of the Future’.

Siemens hi-tech PLM digital software tools are used in everything from Ben Ainslie Racing in the America’s Cup, Firewire surfboard design, Red Bull Racing F1 and even the Mars Rover.

The software will help develop the workforce of the future across the entire work lifecycle from apprenticeships to PhD’s.

The grant also includes a co-contribution by Swinburne for initialisation and ongoing interaction with and global support by Siemens expert software engineers.

Professor Aleksandar Subic, deputy vice-chancellor (Research and Development) and Chair of Industry 4.0 Testlabs on the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce, said that digitalisation of manufacturing is critical for the future.

“We’re immersed in the fourth industrial revolution and we want to make sure that students and researchers are equipped with the required advanced capabilities and technologies to help Australia access global value chains,” he said.

“I have experienced the Siemens automation technology and digitalisation software and hardware first-hand in Germany and the US and can see how this approach will help transform our manufacturing sector and develop future workforce to participate and compete globally.

“We have already made significant progress in aligning our research and education strategy with the Industry 4.0 roadmap in collaboration with our industry partners both locally and internationally.

“The partnership with Siemens and our co-investment in digitalising the Swinburne Factory of the Future will allow us to make the step change in how we support our SME’s and develop future graduates across the entire education life cycle – from apprenticeships to PhDs.”

The announcement coincides with the 145th anniversary since Siemens commissioned the Darwin-to-Adelaide telegraph.

“For Siemens to be here at least another 145 years we need a viable and successful base of industry, manufacturing and infrastructure along with a highly skilled workforce driven by forward thinking educators,” said Siemens CEO and chairman Jeff Connolly.

“So it’s vitally important that our future generations are equipped with the globally competitive technology and skills to take us on that journey.”