Rudd invests in Victoria's students & researchers

23 June

Senator the Hon Kim Carr Joint media release with the Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Julia Gillard MP

Five Victorian education institutions have successfully secured support from the Rudd Labor Government’s Education Investment Fund.

Minister for Education, Julia Gillard and Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr today said the Rudd Government was investing in cutting-edge facilities to make sure future Victorians were prepared for careers at the forefront of innovation and research.

This investment in Victoria’s universities and TAFEs will help make our nation smarter, fairer and more prosperous for generations to come.

The projects are:

  • A new Green Chemical Futures facility at Monash University
  • A building and construction training centre at Victoria University’s Sunshine campus
  • A new technology hub at Box Hill TAFE to teach graduates how to incorporate green skills into trade professions
  • A new Advanced Manufacturing Centre at Swinburne Uni of Technology to improve tertiary education pathways in the manufacturing and engineering fields
  • A world-first Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre (AFFRIC) at Deakin University.

Ms Gillard said that because the Rudd Government had acted decisively and done what needed to be done when Australia was threatened by the global financial crisis, our economy has emerged stronger than almost any other nation. We now want to make sure the rewards of today’s strong economy continue to have long-lasting effects for generations to follow.

These projects will improve the quality and diversity of the courses offered to Victoria’s tertiary students. They will also encourage more students into research fields and deepen the nation’s research capability.

Senator Carr said the Government had extended the funding for round three and the sustainability round of the Education Investment Fund to include an additional $200 million.

“This additional funding has been provided for projects that focus on teaching and research, particularly the areas of climate change and sustainability, bringing the total national funding to $550 million. Investing in the quality and diversity of our tertiary education system will advance our green skills agenda and reinforce our reputation as a world leader in innovation and research,” Senator Carr said.

Green Chemical Futures facility at Monash University Monash University will receive $29.12 million towards the establishment of the Green Chemical Futures facility designed to develop new environmental manufacturing practices and equip more Australians with green engineering skills. The $32.5 billion chemicals and plastics sector is of critical importance in Australia’s economy. This new facility will help us become a world leader in this important field. The new facility will support additional researchers and research groups and hundreds of new collaborations. It will involve international partners including Yale University (USA), Waseda University (Japan) and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

Graduate training hub at Box Hill TAFE Box Hill TAFE will receive $15 million to develop an Integrated Technology Hub to train graduates in simulated workplace environments in the building and electro-mechanical industries. The new facility will train an additional 3,103 students annually and will offer programs incorporating a range of green trade skills to produce graduates who can go on to introduce green practices into existing trade areas or into new related areas. The Hub will also create a training workplace for 73 new teachers to develop new programs and courses; for example, traditional trades programs that include sustainability principles.

Sunshine Construction Futures centre for Victoria University Victoria University will receive $38.95 million to develop a building and construction training centre at its Sunshine campus that will see more Australians secure a place in vocational building and construction courses, an area of national skills shortage. The facility will also provide for the skilling and re-skilling of the building and construction workforce for emerging and green technologies, with a particular focus on adult language, literacy and numeracy skills. The new state-of-the-art training facility will support a modern learning environment and include workshops, computer labs, general classrooms, offices and amenities.

Advanced Manufacturing Centre at Swinburne Uni of Technology The Australian Government will invest $40 million in Swinburne University of Technology’s Advanced Manufacturing Centre to increase the number of Swinburne’s engineering students by at least 25 per cent. It is estimated the new centre will be accessed by over 6,000 students in the first three years. The centre will facilitate collaboration with industry partners such as Boeing to ensure new manufacturing technologies are transferred from the laboratory to the workplace and the market.

Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre at Deakin University As announced by the Prime Minister last month, Deakin University will receive $37 million to develop a world-first Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre which will more than double the university’s laboratory space and provide resources for over 220 additional researchers. Carbon fibre is an essential material in the construction of cars, planes, protective clothing, green energy generators and much more. The new centre will help put Victoria at the forefront of the development of textile technologies.

For further information on the Education Investment Fund, visit www.deewr.gov.au/eif.

Source: Office of Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science & Research

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