UCL and UniSA forge new partnership to ignite future industries

27 April 2015

27 April 2015

University College London (UCL) and the University of South Australia (UniSA) will sign a  partnership agreement today committing the two institutions to work together to develop teaching and research in South Australia in fields that include minerals processing, advanced manufacturing, sustainable future energy production and protection, and care of the environment. 

The agreement, to be signed at joint events in Adelaide and London, signals a program of future collaboration between UniSA’s Future Industries Institute (FII) and the UCL Faculty of Engineering. 

The collaboration is expected to include an industry focused PhD program, joint curriculum development – especially in areas aligned to growth industries in the region – student and staff exchange programs, public engagement and joint academic appointments.

After 2017, UCL will no longer have a stand-alone presence in South Australia. 

The partnership announced today emphasises UCL’s ongoing commitment to sustaining its engagement with South Australia in a different format, beyond the date that UCL Australia will cease to operate. 

As part of the new partnership UCL Engineering will support six five-year Foundation Research Fellows to be recruited to UniSA’s FII, its new flagship engineering sciences research institute. 

In addition to the UCL-funded Foundation Fellows, UniSA will be supporting a further 12 Foundation Fellows. 

At least six of the fellowships will be directly targeted to support outstanding women researchers at early and mid-career levels. 

The new Director of the FII will also hold an honorary professorship at UCL and a senior UniSA researcher, Professor Magnus Nyden, will take on a seconded role as the Head of Department for UCL Australia.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the partnership is an exciting one for South Australia and the region. 

“UCL is one of the world’s most respected institutions, both for its research and its teaching,” Prof Lloyd says. 

“I am especially pleased to be working with a university that is so highly regarded internationally at a time when UniSA is building knowledge and capacity in core future industries through the creation of its new Future Industries Institute.“

“The FII represents UniSA’s largest single investment in research and will be a flagship for industry-connected, interdisciplinary, science and discovery. 

“With our new partnership the Institute takes on a global reach. This is an important partnership for UniSA and UCL Engineering, but also a great development for the State.”

Professor Anthony Finkelstein, Dean of UCL’s Faculty of Engineering, says the partnership confirms UCL’s commitment to South Australia and to the advancement of engineering excellence globally. 

“Although UCL will conclude stand-alone operation in Adelaide at the end of 2017, this engineering partnership with UniSA signals a vibrant new approach to our work in South Australia, designed to deliver tangible outcomes for industry through innovation in science and engineering,” Prof Finkelstein says. 

“In this context we are very pleased to welcome Professor Magnus Nyden, former Director of the Ian Wark Research Institute, to the role of Head of the Department of UCL Australia.”

Employment, Higher Education and Skills Minister Gail Gago says the South Australian Government is pleased to see the development of this strategic international education and research partnership. 

“I congratulate UniSA and UCL on this fantastic collaboration which further cements South Australia as a global higher education destination,” she says.

“The partnership will support significant research into future industries so vital to our State’s economic goals. 

“UCL is one of the foremost academic institutions in the world. The potential for dual-hemisphere programs allowing research students to spend time in both Adelaide and London is exciting and would be an Australian first.” 

UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor Research, Prof Tanya Monro says the new FII builds on UniSA’s considerable historical research expertise in engineering and the physical sciences through the Ian Wark and Mawson Institutes to further grow research capacity and international reach.

“The creation of the FII builds on our strengths to deliver meaningful, valuable research to industry and to align our endeavours to State and National priorities,” Prof Monro says.  

“In the past that was all about mining and traditional manufacturing but the future holds new frontiers – more efficient and sophisticated minerals processing, bio-tech and biomedical developments, the technology to support sustainable future energy production and the protection and care of the environment.

“To be able to partner with UCL as we develop the new Institute is a great opportunity.”

The partnership between UCL and UniSA will also include the foundation of an industry focussed PhD program, joint curriculum development between the universities especially in areas aligned to growth industries in the region, student and staff exchange programs and joint academic appointments.

“The new Institute and the partnership with UCL offer a huge incentive for passionate and driven scientists to aspire to build their careers in science and build them here in South Australia,” Prof Monro says.

About UCL 

Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. UCL is among the world’s top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently has over 35,000 students from 150 countries and over 11,000 employees. Its annual income is over £1bn.

About UniSA

The University of South Australia is Australia’s University of Enterprise – globally focused, locally engaged, and committed to the principles of excellence and equity.

With more than 34,000 students, it is South Australia’s largest university and was the youngest Australian institution to be named in the top 50 of 2014 100 global universities aged under 50 by the Times Higher Education. It was also ranked by QS in the top 10 aged under 25.

UniSA’s enterprising approach is underpinned by deep engagement with industry and the professions with more than 2000 collaborations and partnerships across industry, government and business worldwide.