Two Flinders Business School students will this week head to Italy for internships sealing a new partnership backed by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Fincantieri, one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups, and Flinders University, based in Adelaide.
International Business students Samantha Oxford and Tom Herde have described it as an awesome opportunity to improve their skills and give them valuable global experience, boosting their future employment prospects.
Fincantieri is one of three shipbuilders short-listed by the Australian Government to participate in the Competitive Evaluation Process for the Future Frigates – SEA 5000 program, which foresees the construction of nine frigates for the Royal Australian Navy.
Its burgeoning partnership with Flinders – already a significant contributor to Australia’s naval capability through its Bachelor of Maritime Engineering, Bachelor of Engineering in Naval Architecture, and several research projects – puts the South Australian institution in a strong position to pick up even more lucrative research opportunities under the SEA 5000 program.
Dario Deste is the Chairman of Fincantieri Australia, the local company established by the Italian group in order to fully manage the important phase of the shipbuilder’s participation in the bid.
“Fincantieri is fully committed to the Future Frigates project and excited about our partnership with Flinders University. The program represents one of the most important naval surface shipbuilding projects in the world and Fincantieri is passionate about building strong partnerships in Australia” Mr Deste says.
“Flinders University, with its expertise in naval engineering and architecture, is exactly the kind of institution we want to work with, and I hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.”
Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling says the partnership will see Flinders research expertise harnessed for practical impact.
“This MOU reflects how Flinders University’s powerful combination of innovation and naval expertise has been recognised by one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups and number one by diversification and innovation” Professor Stirling says.
“Our pivotal partnership with Fincantieri places Flinders University at the heart of one of Australia’s biggest defence projects, at the heart of the Defence State, and at the heart of Australia’s economic transformation.”
“It provides a remarkable opportunity for our students studying International Business to undertake work placements in Italy. There they’ll be involved in activities including procurement, logistical supply chain management and value analysis of suppliers for the project. It’s further evidence of the exceptional learning opportunities Flinders provides” Professor Stirling says.
Mr. Deste will meet the students during their internship activities at the company’s headquarters in Trieste and Genoa, where they will have the opportunity to see firsthand why Fincantieri is one of the world’s leading shipbuilders.
The MoU sets out terms for Fincantieri and Flinders to work together to promote academic and research cooperation, and the exchange of staff, students and information.
The spirit of the initiative is intended to develop closer understanding and a durable friendship, as well as specific cooperation in the development and delivery of agreed research and education programs relating to naval shipbuilding.