MoU signing strengthens Deakin and Hanwha partnership

Media release

12 May 2021

Deakin University and Hanwha Defense Australia have strengthened their partnership by signing a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Founded in 1952, Hanwha Corporation has grown to become South Korea’s largest defence company. It has established a formidable reputation for research and development across aerospace, fintech and clean energy, areas that align with Deakin’s strategic priorities and its research and commercialisation expertise.

The MoU was signed on 6 May at the Waurn Ponds Campus – home to Deakin's Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) – by Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin and Hanwha Defense Australia Director of Strategy and Business Development, Mr Tim Pickford. The agreement will drive collaboration between Deakin and Hanwha in modelling and simulation, machine learning applications and human performance.

Professor Martin said the two organisations’ mutual interests included a range of emerging technologies and advanced manufacturing and a focus on growing the local economy through education and employment opportunities.

“Deakin is a local university with global impact. Hanwha is a global leader in the defence industry. Together we share a strong commitment to Victoria and its regions,” he said.

“This MoU reflects a partnership approach to creating opportunities in advanced intelligent technologies and will enable us to explore better the application of AI in technology design, modelling and simulation, and control of future platforms.

“And over time, it will provide immersive, authentic work experiences for our students. The opportunity to learn with such an organisation during a period of rapid change will benefit our students and form an invaluable part of their education.”

Mr Richard Cho, Hanwha’s Managing Director, said his company was delighted to enter into the MoU with Deakin University.

“This partnership will lead to the local development of advanced technology, the development of high-value local employment and, ultimately, the development of high-tech exports,” Mr Cho said.

“Hanwha and Deakin are both innovative organisations focused on building safe and secure communities and advancing the local economy – I look forward to seeing the outcomes of our work together.”

Deakin's Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research Professor Julie Owens said: “Hanwha is one of the world’s elite corporations in the development of new systems and technologies and will be a dynamic addition to the innovation ecosystem at the Geelong Future Economy Precinct at our Waurn Ponds Campus.”

“Research and education are equally important in developing local capability, and we are looking forward to the opportunities this creates for our students locally and in exchange programs with Hanwha HQ in Seoul. Significant partnerships like this have the potential to create a positive impact for many years to come.”

IISRI Director Professor Saeid Nahavandi said the Institute had a well-earned reputation for being at the cutting edge of new technology and innovation and positively impacting Deakin's communities.

“IISRI is integral to many elements of the University's education and research priorities, such as creating smarter technologies, building safe and secure communities and advancing society, culture and the economy,” he said.

“I warmly welcome the signing of the MoU because it will enable us to continue to translate our research and technology innovation in intelligent systems and establish sovereign capabilities for Australia through a smart tri-partitie government-university-community partnership, together with international counterparts.”

About Hanwha Defense Australia
Hanwha Defense Australia is a subsidiary of Hanwha Defense International which is a division of the vast Republic of Korea Fortune 500 conglomerate Hanwha Corporation. Hanwha Corporation has been operating in Australia since 2005 in areas including mining equipment, logistics and alternative energy. Headquartered in Melbourne, Hanwha Defense Australia was established in 2019 with an initial focus on Land Systems. The company has been selected as the sole tenderer to bid for LAND 8116, a $0.9 to $1.3 billion project which will see the Commonwealth acquire self-propelled artillery systems to be manufactured in the Greater Geelong area of Victoria.

About Deakin University
Established in 1974, Deakin is one of Australia’s most progressive and agile universities, leading in the innovative use of digital technologies and online learning, and blending this capability across its distinctive campus precincts in Melbourne, Geelong and Warrnambool. Deakin has a thriving research culture known for its multidisciplinary collaborations. The ideas generated form the basis for new and improved products and services that deliver significant social and economic benefits. Deakin’s collaborations emphasise mutually beneficial partnerships and real-world impact in areas of high national priority, including health and wellbeing, smarter technologies, sustainability, advancing society and culture, and building safe and secure communities.

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