$135 million grant to digitalise Swinburne’s Factory of the Future

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Siemens Australia chief executive Jeff Connolly, left, and Swinburne DVC Aleksandar Subic with technical trainee Gabriella Swaby. Image source: The Australian

Student Gabriella Swaby looks to the future with Siemens' Jeff Connolly (left) and Swinburne’s Aleksandar Subic | Image: The Australian

In summary

  • $135 million software grant from Siemens
  • Largest grant of its kind awarded to an Australian university
  • Will prepare students for the emerging global innovation economy.

 

Swinburne University of Technology has further cemented its reputation as a world leader in advanced manufacturing, receiving a record $135 million industrial software grant from engineering giant Siemens.

The software grant will be used to digitalise Swinburne’s Factory of the Future, creating Australia’s first fully immersed Industry 4.0 facility.

The new software will give students and researchers access to the same apparatus being used by leading companies on advanced projects, developing the skills needed to thrive in the highly-competitive digital manufacturing sphere.

The grant provides a suite of advanced product lifecycle management (PLM) software designed to integrate data, processes, business systems and people in an extended enterprise.

A new generation cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) platform, MindSphere, is also part of the suite.

The international competition will be fierce in the manufacturing domain, which is why this development is so timely and critical” - Professor Aleksandar Subic

‌Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development), Professor Aleksandar Subic says the partnership with Siemens is aligned with recommendations made by the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce.   

“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 tools to help transform Australian industry and access global value chains,” says Professor Subic.

"The international competition will be fierce in the manufacturing domain, which is why this development is so timely and critical.”

Professor Subic says Siemens hi-tech software tools are used in a broad range of contexts and applications, from America’s Cup racing yachts, to surfboard design, formula one racing and even the Mars Rover.

“I have experienced the Siemens automation technology and digitalization 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,” Professor Subic says.

Chairman and CEO of Siemens Australia, Jeff Connolly, says the grant will support Victoria and Australia by preparing students to participate fully in the emerging global innovation economy.

“This is about jobs of the future today,” he said at the announcement of the partnership.

"I’m proud to be standing here today, side by side with Swinburne University of Technology, announcing the largest ever industrial software grant in Australia.

“Our country’s future relies on companies working with key educational and research institutions to get our workforce ready for the fourth industrial revolution.”

Swinburne and Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution, refers to the next stage of modern manufacturing – a paradigm shift towards smart factories that merge cyber systems with physical systems.

Swinburne’s Manufacturing Futures Research Institute is Australia’s first research institute dedicated to Industry 4.0.