Minister Launches SAAB/UniSA Defence Institute

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Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, has welcomed the establishment of a new academic institution aimed at developing and skilling Australia’s workforce to meet future Defence project needs.

Saab Australia will invest up to $40 million for a purpose built new wing of their Mawson Lakes headquarters, collaborating with the University of South Australia (UniSA) to create the Saab / UniSA Defence Institute. The Institute will educate and train the workforce required to deliver future defence industry projects during the next 20 to 30 years. Students will learn technological skills, matched with practical experience on cutting edge defence technology at Saab.

Minister Pyne said Saab Australia and UniSA have formalised a long-term relationship with the establishment of the new Institute.

“The Defence Institute will develop a source of sustainable Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) graduates by immersing them in real world problems and situations to bring academia into the heart of industry,” Minister Pyne said.

“Significant Defence projects, such as the replacements for the Collins Class Submarines that will be delivered in the coming years, necessitate an increase in skilled people, especially in STEM subjects. This will also build on our indigenous defence capability and provide a developing workforce for future export contracts.

“The institute will also provide opportunities for smaller companies in the defence supply chain to participate in industry based activities, contribute to science projects and access a pool of well-prepared staff to up skill their own.”

Minister Pyne said Defence welcomed the opportunity to work with the new Defence Institute to optimise investment in Defence research and innovation and maximise the complementary value of our respective STEM student development programs.

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