New technologies are changing the face of global economies. Australia is not immune to this disruption, and diversification from traditional industry bases is essential for future prosperity. The Future Industries Institute (FII) is a major commitment by UniSA to meet this need head on.
FII focuses on creating high value, knowledge intensive alternatives underpinned by unique skill bases, infrastructure technology solutions and collaborative research relationships. It brings together the University’s world-class strengths in advanced manufacturing, nanomedicine, minerals and resource engineering and environmental science, and encourages researchers to blur the boundaries and build new relationships between industry and academia.
Our approach to solving research challenges with our partners is solution-driven and collaborative from the outset. We work with partners to define a problem,map out possible approaches, set benchmarks and realistic expectations, and create knowledge and new technology.
FII operates differently to a traditional research institute. We’re actually glad when our researchers don’t turn up to the office in the morning: it means they’re out in the field – be it a factory, laboratory or boardroom – working directly with partners on projects we’re committed to solving.
Sometimes our researchers are teaching, sometimes they’re learning, but they’re always asking questions, testing new ground and delivering exciting mutually beneficial research outcomes. We believe that’s what genuine collaborative research looks like in the 21st century.
To help drive collaboration and economic transformation, the South Australian Government invested $7.5 million, over three years, into the Future Industries Accelerator Program. This program provides local businesses with support to access infrastructure for collaborative research and development projects and facilitates staff exchanges through annual mobility grants.
FII is transforming the industries of today and seeding the industries of tomorrow.
The Future Industries Institute (FII) was established in 2015 bringing together the research activities of the established Ian Wark Research Institute (IWRI), Mawson Institute (MI) and Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation (CERAR). The FII focuses on four research strands:
The research strands build from the research capabilities and reputations of the IWRI, MI and CERAR, IWRI and extends into other complementary research capabilities within the University's Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment, and across the University.
These strands support state and national research and economic development priorities in:
We have also formed a new major academic partnership with University College London (UCL), and will engage in joint research programs and develop educational initiatives in conjunction with UCL Engineering. We aspire to make this partnership a model of close international collaboration and will work together to achieve this.
For research degree (HRD) students, the bringing together of three institutes into one, creates a more dynamic and supportive research environment. Research staff within the Institute are also linked to the university’s teaching programs to enhance the relevance of the engineering and science programs delivered in the Schools and improve connectivity between teaching and research.
Its four core strands are led by top research professors in their fields, and teams of researchers and research fellows collaborate across disciplines and work with industry partners to deliver innovations and solutions.
The FII focuses on addressing real world issues and partnering with industry and end-users. We provide industry with a “go to” destination to work on improvements, innovations and breakthroughs.
The Institute is designed to attract leading collaborators and engage new talent by including opportunities for research fellowships and higher degree research scholarships, providing a pipeline for the nurturing of talented engineers and scientists. Its internationally engaged researchers work with a core team of technical staff to bring projects to fruition.
In addition, we have a senior industry engagement manager who develops partnership opportunities with industry locally and internationally and works with UniSA Ventures, UniSA’s commercialisation arm, to support the development of new products and services.