The agreement opens potential areas of collaboration in research and development between the University and Safran in areas such as robotics and autonomous systems, advanced information technology, geoscience, innovative sensor designs, and positioning, navigation and timing solutions.
It will also allow University staff and students access to observe Safran’s facilities and operations and become involved in projects, while providing new education and workshop opportunities on campus.
Professor Benjamin Eggleton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) and physicist at the University of Sydney, signed the agreement during the Indo Pacific 2023 International Maritime Exposition.
“We are very excited to partner with a world leading aerospace and defence company such as Safran,” Professor Eggleton said.
“The University of Sydney has comprehensive capabilities across our faculties and schools, particularly relevant to science and engineering. Our research expertise in sensing technologies will be complementary to Safran’s products and enable a substantial partnership with high impact.”
Safran Electronics & Defense Australasia specialises in aviation, space and defence technologies. The company creates electronic solutions and advanced defence technologies, like avionics systems and navigation equipment, specifically suited for the unique requirements of the Australasian region.
Patrice Provost, who signed for Safran, said: “Safran and The University of Sydney have world leading research capabilities in a wide range of advanced technologies, bringing these together will be an amazing combination.”
“Safran and its predecessor companies have been working locally in Australia for 45 years providing the best in breed solutions to the local defence customer, we are excited to be working on the next generation of these solutions with our local partners.”
Collaboration between Safran and the University has been enabled by AUKUS, the trilateral security pact established in September 2021 between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, and aligned with the Australian Defence Strategic Review (DSR) priorities. The partnership’s primary objective is to strengthen joint efforts in defence initiatives and advance cutting-edge technology, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.
“We look forward to exploring opportunities for collaboration with Safran in areas related to machine learning, robotics, autonomous systems, communications and sensor design,” said Professor Stefan Williams, from the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Robotics and School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering.
“There is a significant opportunity to leverage our expertise across a broad range of research related to the digital sciences and to complement existing work funded through the NSW Defence Innovation Network and other sources.”
The University is well-equipped with research that can be translated for industry applications, with work advancing autonomy, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum technologies.
The University currently collaborates on edge AI, which allows data to be processed locally on a device, in multiple unmanned aerial vehicles for communications and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
The Indo Pacific 2023 International Maritime Exposition, held in Sydney at the Internationale Convention Centre from 7 to 9 November, is a vital platform for commercial maritime and naval defence. The bi-annual event brings together leaders from Australia and various international sectors, including defence, industry, government, academia and technology, with more than 25,000 visitors.