Iconic South Australian-owned technology and communications company Hills will relocate its local operations to Flinders University’s new $120 million facility at Tonsley.
Announced today (31 October 2014), the relocation of Hills will foster increased collaboration with Flinders University’s centre of expertise in medical devices and assistive living technologies.
The company will move its South Australian development and innovation centres, product teams and support services from Hindmarsh to Tonsley in the coming weeks, sharing a space within Flinders University’s new six-storey Tonsley building, which officially opens in January 2015.
Welcoming the move by Hills, Flinders Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Barber said:
“Flinders at Tonsley will be a place where students interact with business and where business interacts with researchers in Flinders-led areas of global importance – including engineering, assistive technologies, medical devices and nanomaterials – to make the new products and processes of the 21st Century,” Professor Barber said.
“The co-location of Hills will accelerate opportunities for collaboration with Flinders.
“Through industry linkages with businesses such as Hills, Flinders at Tonsley will make a major contribution to South Australia’s transformation from ‘old’ manufacturing to the ‘smart State’.”
Hills Group Managing Director and CEO of Hills Limited, Mr Ted Pretty, said the move represents a shift to “a collaborative space that can contribute to developing new products, creating new jobs and driving new revenues”.
In addition to housing Flinders’ School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics, Flinders at Tonsley will be an integrated hub for the University’s centres of expertise in areas that include assistive technologies and medical devices.
The Tonsley building will also be the base for the Flinders New Venture Institute, which already has significant links to the Hills innovation centres through its activities in business incubation and entrepreneurial training.
Internationally renowned biomedical engineer, Professor Karen Reynolds, said the development creates exciting and dynamic opportunities.
“Flinders is a leader in innovating medical devices and assistive technologies, particularly those to support independent living such as those incorporated into the Woodville West Urban Renewal Project,” Professor Reynolds said.
“Tonsley offers enormous scope for Flinders to collaborate with industry partners to develop, harness and direct technologies, incorporating the University’s teaching and research strengths in such areas as engineering, allied health, disabilities and aged care, to bring widespread benefits in terms of community wellbeing – locally, nationally and beyond,” she said.
The Hills relocation to Flinders at Tonsley follows a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Flinders to establish collaborative links with Hills at the launch of the company’s two innovation centres in February.
Article by Charles Gent, Flinders University