Deakin signs key step with Airbus to lift-off collaboration

Media release
19 February 2020

Deakin University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus, paving the way for future research collaborations with the aviation giant. These projects would include investigations in areas such as robotics, materials, motion simulators, artificial intelligence and batteries.

Pro Vice-Chancellor for Defence Technologies Professor Saeid Nahavandi said the agreement was a key step towards the two organisations working together on mutually beneficial science and technology projects.

"This is a very exciting time for Deakin University to be fully engaged with Airbus, one of the world’s leading aerospace companies," Professor Nahavandi said.

"This agreement provides an invaluable opportunity to draw the best out of what researchers can offer to industry through a series of short, medium, and long-term collaboration projects."

Professor Nahavandi said the opportunities for Deakin to work with Airbus were significant and one of the examples was the Deakin Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation's ability to bring together and optimise complex systems.

"I'm confident that there's a multitude of ways in which Deakin's world class research and development in AI and machine learning could assist Airbus," Professor Nahavandi said.

"In the area of human performance, for example, we can help model human factors such as emotional responses and behaviours as the aviation industry continues to push frontiers in terms of flight times."

Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said the University had long-standing research partnerships with many world-leading establishments, with a proven ability to transition fundamental research into the real world through collaboration with industry, community, and government agencies.

"Over the past few months Airbus teams in Australia have carefully assessed the capabilities of various institutions and selected Deakin as a research partner," Professor Martin said.

"Deakin strives to be Australia's premier university in enabling globally-connected education for the jobs of the future, and in pursuing research we make a difference to the communities we serve."

Deakin's Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research Professor Julie Owens said Deakin was a world-leader in key research areas highly relevant to the new Airbus partnership – including robotics, materials, motion simulators, artificial intelligence and batteries.

"This engagement with Airbus is another milestone for Deakin in delivering on its promise to deliver real world impact by strengthening its industry partnerships," she said.

"Many Deakin researchers are very industry focused, providing high-quality translational research and innovation outcomes, some of which have been rapidly transitioned into commercial products, as evidenced by the growing number of Deakin start-ups over recent years."

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