“How much is that nightmare in the window?”

Uni SA is very pleased with its 13 kilo autonomous quadruped robot, which will help in augmented and virtual reality research. CMM is sure familiarities in appearance to the killer robo-dogs in Black Mirror is no cause for concern.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning  

James Guthrie (Macquarie U) reports proposals to transform governance of Australia’s public universities.

plus Bradley Boron and Leonie Ellis (U Tas) on the way Zoom in the classroom creates opportunities for physical teaching space. Theirs is a new addition to Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s celebrated series, Needed now in teaching and learning.

UNSW and Uni Newcastle to blaze clean energy trails

The government announces the third of its big new applied research commitments

The two universities have $50m in federal funding for the Australian Trailblazer Recycling and Clean Energy trailblazer. There’s another $150m from participants and industry partners for work, which Uni Newcastle states will create 52 patents, move “54 technologies up the value chain” and bring 57 new products to market.

It’s the third trailblazer announced, preceded by Curtin U (resource technology) and Uni Adelaide (defence science) (CMM April 21). Another is expected to be announced during the campaign.

The trailblazers are central to the Morrison Government’s as yet unlegislated Research Commercialisation Action Plan, which will “focus the considerable research power of our universities” on the government’s national manufacturing priorities.”

Yesterday’s announcement is a big win for UNSW, which also partners Uni Adelaide in the defence science programme (scroll down for another UNSW success).

Plus a UNSW led CRC

The second CRC of Round 23 is announced by Science and Technology Minister Melissa Price

It’s the Sovereign Manufacturing Automation for Composites Cooperative Research Centre, already known as SOMAC by its admirers. There is $69.9m from government and $189m in partners’ cash and kind for the UNSW led CRC.

It follows Uni SA winning the CRC for antimicrobial resistance last week, meaning there is one more Round 23 announcement to come.

Another announceable win for Uni Newcastle

It will be home to the Commonwealth Public Service’s Academy Campus

The academy will offer, “flexible data and digital training and entry level employment opportunities for students to help kick-start their APS data and digital professional careers.”

Minister for the Public Service, Ben Moreton announced the project yesterday. It will open in 2023 with an initial intake of 30.

Not quiet to the scale of the PM turning out for the launch of Uni Newcastle’s Central Coast Clinical School and Research Institute, (CMM March 15) but at this stage of the campaign everything helps.


NZ to international students: come to learn not live

New Zealand to open borders, with a “full resumption of international education”

The government announced yesterday visa applications will now be accepted from August 1.  But it was quick to state that the intent was to “attract students to New Zealand to learn, while also shutting the backdoor route to residency.”

Restrictions on student visas will include,

* no post-study work rights for non-degree students, except in skilled or in-demand occupations

* the existing three year working rights for bachelor grads and other eligible students will drop to the equivalent of the time they spent in study. Postgrads keep the three years

* and there will be no second post-study visa.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins added the government rejected the now Opposition’s approach in office of, “volume over value …  that became a backdoor to residency for lower-skilled and lower-paid migrant workers, who were then at risk of exploitation.”

The government announced Monday a 38 000 apprenticeship “boost.”

Flinders U calls Labor commitment  a “game-changer”

The university announces a Labor pledge of $10m for the university’s “Factory of the Future,” which “has been welcomed as a game-changer for job creation”

PVC Research Impact John Spoehr calls it “an important moment for the future of manufacturing in South Australia; a turning point in the rebirth of the critically important manufacturing sector in our state.”

And lest anybody miss the point, he adds, “The Factory of the Future facility is pivotal to South Australia’s fortunes as a smart state.”

It’s not an endorsement, but Rachel Swift, Liberal candidate for the local federal seat of Boothby, might not like it.

But there is no faulting Labor for campaigning restraint. A fortnight before the last election Labor promised $20m for what Flinders U then called the “future factory,” “a test-bed facility … to explore the application of new technologies capable of manufacturing next generation products,” (CMM May 8 2019).

Flinders U was less enthusiastic yesterday in welcoming $1m in Commonwealth funding for a medical workforce regional training hub. Certainly Flinders’ announcement referred to “the government’s strategic investment”  but focused on what a good job the university is doing.

Appointment, achievements

Uni Wollongong announces company director and author John Green is the new chair of UoW Global Enterprises.

The Royal Society (as in the original) announces 2022 Fellows, including, * Robert Pressey (James Cook U) * Richard Robson (Uni Melbourne) * Jamie Rossjohn (Monash U) * Carola Vinuesa (ANU)