Swinburne partners with CSIRO to launch Silicon Valley presence

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Golden Gate Bridge

The strategic partnership was announced at the 2018 G’day USA San Francisco Gala.

In summary

  • Swinburne is first Australian university to partner with CSIRO US
  • Partnership will foster Australia-US research and innovation
  • It will enable PhD students and early career researchers to work in ‘the Valley’

CSIRO and Swinburne  have launched a new partnership in Silicon Valley as part of a strategic move to increase Australia-US research, innovation and commercialisation. 

Swinburne will become the first Australian university to partner with CSIRO in its newly-established office in Northern California. 

The CSIRO-Swinburne strategic partnership, which was announced during the G’day USA San Francisco Gala on Saturday 20 January, will facilitate new research partnerships and enable PhD students and early career researchers to work in ‘the Valley’. 

Swinburne joins medical device company Anatomics as one of the first Australian companies to co-locate with CSIRO. 

“CSIRO has a long history of successful partnerships in the US dating back to helping put the first man on the moon with NASA. With our new Silicon Valley office we’re looking to help US organisations make the next big breakthroughs and create a foothold in the US to open the door to innovation for Australian SMEs and universities,”  says CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Larry Marshall.

“Swinburne was chosen as our first university partner because of enduring partnership in Australia and their commitment to global research impact.” 

Larry Marshall from CSIRO stands with Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development) Professor Aleks Subic.
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall with Swinburne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development) at the announcement of the partnership.

Connecting Australia and North America

Swinburne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development), Professor Aleksandar Subic says Swinburne’s decision to begin developing a presence in Silicon Valley was a strategic one. 

“California is the sixth largest economy in the world and arguably the most disruptive. We see an opportunity to partner with those likeminded disruptors to transform industries.”

The CSIRO-Swinburne partnership will see Swinburne PhD students and early career researchers, who are co-funded by industry, work on projects with leading Silicon Valley-based organisations. 

“By having a dedicated space in CSIRO’s Silicon Valley office, we will be able to bring Australian innovation practices to the United States, and use this presence as our base for immersion in one of the most mature innovation ecosystems in the world,” Professor Subic says. 

History of Swinburne-CSIRO relationship

Swinburne has a long-standing relationship with CSIRO, which was further cemented in 2016 when an official strategic partnership was formed.

The strategic partnership committed to:

  • an emphasis on joint research collaborations
  • new opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate learning and development
  • a focus on conducting research that will have a profound and lasting impact.

Swinburne presence in Silicon Valley

For decades Swinburne has been creating future-ready learners and researchers who are prepared for the global workforce. 

Currently, more than 450 Swinburne alumni are based in the North American region, with a large proportion of those living in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Swinburne alumni based in the North American region work in a broad range of innovative industries including technology, telecommunications, consulting, human resources, industrial automation, not-for-profit and software development. 

“Our partnership with CSIRO is just the beginning of our presence in Silicon Valley. For decades Swinburne has been leading the way in Australian innovation and we are excited for the opportunities and high impact outcomes this relationship will create,” Professor Subic says.