Flinders University has become the first Australian university to join forces with a key United States Navy research centre, in a historic move that will boost South Australia’s defence research capability.

The landmark Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Naval Undersea Warfare Centre (NUWC) Division Newport marks a significant step forward in collaborative research between the United States and Australia in the field of undersea technology.

NUWC Division Newport is the oldest warfare centre in the United States and is the US Navy’s full-spectrum research, development, test and evaluation, engineering, and fleet support centre for submarine warfare systems and other systems associated with the undersea battlespace.

Under the terms of the CRADA, Flinders University and NUWC commit to working together to identify and collaborate on cutting-edge research projects and initiatives related to undersea technology. It opens opportunities for Flinders University researchers to develop rapid solutions, future partnerships, skills exchange, and avenues for impactful on-site training to develop expertise in undersea technology, contributing to the advancement of Australian and US joint interests.

Flinders University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling said the partnership signals a new era in undersea technology research.

“Flinders is proud to be at the forefront of advancing submarine defence capabilities in Australia,” Mr Stirling said. “This landmark collaboration reinforces Flinders’ position as a global leader in underwater technologies and underscores our dedication to innovative research.”

“We look forward to the transformative research outcomes and educational outcomes that will arise from this partnership.”

NUWC Division Newport Chief Technology Officer Dr Jason Gomez said the centre was looking forward to a long-lasting collaboration with Flinders University.

“With the growing importance of the undersea domain, we are continuously looking to expand our research base and tap into the knowledge and talent of academia,” Dr Gomez said. “Flinders University is a great partner and has a wide array of overlapping and complimentary research interests with NUWC.”

“We look forward to establishing long lasting research collaborations that will provide both a technology development and expert workforce pipeline, to help provide an enduring foundation for the AUKUS agreement.”

The historic collaboration will enable Flinders University’s researchers and NUWC Division Newport’s undersea experts to combine their complementary skills, capabilities, and technologies to address critical Navy challenges and opportunities at an accelerated pace.

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