Swinburne University has announced the establishment of an advanced manufacturing research centres in Weihai in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong, in a move intended to broaden Australia and China’s industrial and technological engagements.
The Joint Research Centre in Advanced Manufacturing is a partnership between Swinburne, Shandong University Weihai (SDUW), Weihai Economic and Technological Development Zone (WZ) and the Australian Education and Management Group (AEMG).
The centre will focus on developing advanced manufacturing technologies, including 3D printing, industrial automation and robotics, advanced materials processing for carbon fibre composites, and digitalisation across the value chain from design to business supply chain innovation.
In the first five years, the centre will house 100 PhD research students working on high impact projects supported by industry from Australia, US and South Korea.
Swinburne is the first Australian university to develop a base in Weihai, an area experiencing economic growth based on industries including automobiles, machinery, pharmaceuticals, and food processing.
“Swinburne intends to broaden and deepen engagement with Shandong University and with industry in the economic and technological development zone across all domains of our endeavour,” Swinburne president and vice-chancellor Professor Linda Kristjanson said at the launch.
“Our vision is that the relationships we build through our initiative here in Weihai will advance and support trade between our nations across a range of sectors.”
The launch was attended by representatives of the Australian and Victorian governments and by the City of Weihai.
Swinburne deputy vice-chancellor Professor Aleksandar Subic says Swinburne has also entered formal collaborations with six industry partners in Shandong.
“Our partnership model is unique as it goes beyond academic collaboration and involves industry and the economic and technological development zone,” he said.
Swinburne is the only university to join the CSIRO and representatives of the Australian manufacturing sector on the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce.