Rockwell Automation and the University of Melbourne collaborate, helping Australian industry reach decarbonisation goals

Rockwell Automation Inc. and the University of Melbourne are collaborating to help companies in the manufacturing and resources industries use digital innovation to reach their decarbonisation goals.

The organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on research activities, jointly develop training and work together to help solve real-world challenges presented by industry. Rockwell Automation will contribute engineering resources and product training to the project. The University of Melbourne will bring its academic and research expertise and world-class innovation infrastructure.

Anthony Wong, regional director, South Pacific, Rockwell Automation, said the MoU marks an important new phase that will benefit industry. “Decarbonisation is now front of mind for Australian industrial companies,” Wong said. “They know they must act to remain attractive to consumers and meet compliance targets, but they often don’t know how to start or where to focus their energies for the greatest returns,” He continued, “Rockwell Automation and the University of Melbourne are coming together to share our expertise and explore practical solutions to this challenge.”

The University of Melbourne will provide research expertise, and academic and physical resources, and use the collaboration to give its students real-world training, preparing them to tackle tomorrow’s engineering challenges – including using digital innovation – to accelerate decarbonisation and become future leaders in their field.

“Learnings from the pandemic are still emerging, but I hope we are appreciating the value of a competitive and sustainable local manufacturing industry,” said Associate Professor Jo Staines, Enterprise Fellow, University of Melbourne. “Striving for cost competitiveness and improved sustainability should not be seen as opposing business goals. We can achieve both – reducing waste lowers costs and improves sustainability, and likewise, integrated digital solutions can enhance market responsiveness and encourage circularity.”

Industry Gets Behind Concept

The collaboration officially commenced at an MoU signing event at Melbourne Connect on July 27. Following the signing, guests from the manufacturing, resources, food and beverage and agricultural processing industries heard from a panel of experts discussing the role of industry/university collaboration in solving digital innovation challenges. Speaking ahead of the event, the panelists expressed their support for the concept.

“Bega Cheese has seen the advantages of partnering with the University of Melbourne,” said Anthony Bourke, General Manager, Operations, Bega Foods. “The value of bringing together a leading, global technology provider in Rockwell Automation, with the University and industry will be of great benefit to all parties.”