Flinders researchers took advantage of the Adelaide visit by Fincantieri designed-and-built vessel Carabiniere to get a first hand view of research and development opportunities ahead of a decision to build Australia’s next generation of navy frigates.
A Memorandum of Understanding struck last month between Flinders and Fincantieri, one of the world’s largest shipbuilders, will promote academic and research cooperation and staff and student exchanges that leverage the future frigate program.
CSEM academics and students went below decks to check out the vessel’s features and put their minds to technologies that could be fitted to an Australian version, should Fincantieri be selected from the three shortlisted firms vying for the frigate contract.
Areas of research strengths Flinders can bring to the bid include maritime engineering, naval architecture, robotics and high tech nano-coatings.
Chancellor Stephen Gerlach and Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling had the opportunity to meet with senior Fincantieri officials at an on board reception hosted by Commander Francesco Pagnotta.
The VC says the partnership will see our research expertise harnessed for practical impact, with this pivotal partnership with Fincantieri putting Flinders at the heart of one of Australia’s biggest defence projects, at the heart of the Defence State, and at the heart of Australia’s economic transformation.
Flinders was also well represented at the Fincantieri Global Supply Chain forum held in Adelaide on 9 February as well as a VIP function hosted by the Ambassador of Italy, HE Mr Pier Francesco Zazo and the Consul of Italy in Adelaide, Mrs Roberta Ronzitti.
Under the MoU, two Flinders business students are currently doing internships with Fincantieri in Trieste and Genoa, learning about international supply chains and advising on Australian systems.