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International collaboration to boost autonomous maritime vehicles research

Credit: Flinders University

A new international collaboration between Australian and French academic institutions and industry will significantly boost research in the fast emerging field of autonomous maritime vehicles.

According to a recent press release, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been reached between leading research institutions Flinders University in Australia and French Graduate School of Engineering ENSTA Bretagne, and a global shipbuilder.

The MoU will be covering research, development and education.

The agreement was signed at a ceremony attended by the Premier of South Australia, Steven Marshall MP and President, Regional Council of Brittany, Mr Loïg Chesnais-Girard.

The signing of the Autonomous Maritime Vehicle MoU opens up further opportunities to enhance collaboration with the Brittany region.

Autonomous maritime vehicle research is a key strength at both Flinders and ENSTA Bretagne, and is an increasingly important area for defence and civilian applications.

Researchers at the University have established a close research relationship with ENSTA Bretagne and the academic institutions are pleased to be working collaboratively with the global shipbuilder in a move that will further enhance the alliance between the two countries.

Students from both institutions will also benefit from the agreement thanks to a focus on internships and work experience programs for students across both countries.

The collaboration opens the pathway for Flinders students to undertake internships in France as well as French students to spend time in Flinders research laboratories.

This relationship will enable the students to benefit from exchange opportunities that will expose them to some of the most advanced research in this area.

In addition, it will create opportunities that will strengthen the relationship between South Australia and the Brittany region of France.

There is growing global interest in the emerging field of autonomous marine vehicles.

The French institution is pleased to be further building a relationship with its Australian partner and the global shipbuilder as a historic partner in developing these exciting technologies.

The exchange of research knowledge is a vital element in advancing the evolution and the application of autonomous technologies.

France and Australia are modern, progressive and ambitious nations and agreements such as this serve to further strengthen country-to-country relationship.

The company’s Chief Technical Officer and Innovation Director said that both institutions are partners of choice when it comes to autonomous systems, which is one of the major challenges of future naval systems.

The company is proud to be part of this tripartite effort covering research, development and education. This will allow their team to progress towards smarter naval products.

In July 2018, Flinders became the first research institution outside of France to be invited to join CELADON.

CELADON is an association of leading industry and academic institutions (including ENSTA Bretagne) that operates land-based and marine facilities adjacent to the French Naval Academy in Brest, France.

As part of its membership, the University’s researchers and students will have the opportunity to undertake sea trials with unique infrastructure in the area of autonomous surface and underwater vehicles.

They will also help develop future marine technologies in research projects with other CELADON members.

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