Industry News


Posted on Jan 18, 2017

Flinders University and four of France’s leading Graduate Schools of Engineering will today enter into an academic and research cooperation agreement relating to Australia’s Future Submarine Program.

The agreement between Flinders and a consortium comprised of ENSTA ParisTech, École Centrale de Nantes, CentraleSupélec and École Polytechnique will be signed at a ceremony to be witnessed by South Australia’s Minister for Higher Education and Skills, the Hon Susan Close and the Deputy Chief Executive of DCNS and General Manager of Australia’s Future Submarine Program, Marie-Pierre de Bailliencourt.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will foster joint research projects, student and staff exchanges, and a new wave of Australian-French innovation and entrepreneurial projects related to the Future Submarine Program to be centred in Adelaide, South Australia.

Flinders University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robert Saint, who will sign the MoU at DCNS Headquarters in Paris, said “it will foster an exchange of research and technical expertise that further strengthens the University’s maritime related programs”.

“This MoU signed with our new French partner institutions, recognises the high regard in which Flinders’ capability in the areas of defence and maritime research. The agreement will enhance our defence related endeavours and contribute to South Australia and Australia’s economic transformation,” Professor Saint says.

The French members of the consortium have welcomed the agreement as a further recognition of the global value of their defence research strengths.

“Our alliance has a proud history of productively working with DCNS, the successful bidder for Australia’s Future submarine program. The establishment of this consortium with Flinders University will foster an exchange of knowledge between Australia and France in relation to this project, and harness some of the world’s best research minds to ensure DCNS’s vessels set the standard for technological innovation,” the consortium members say.

Mr Alain Guillou, DCNS Executive vice-president of Human Resources and Operations welcomed the agreement.

“Innovation is at the heart of DCNS’s Future Submarine Program plans. We would like to congratulate Flinders University and the French Institutions on this exciting development which ties communities for the long term”, declared Mr Alain Guillou.

The MoU creates a “Group of Scientific Interest” (GIS) involving the five institutions, and further cements the friendship between France and Australia.

About Flinders University
Located in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia and Australia’s premier defence manufacturing state, Flinders University ranks amongst the world’s top 2% of universities and equal 10th in Australia, with a proud reputation for innovative research and excellence in teaching and learning. Flinders has 2,700 staff and 25,000 students, including some 4,000 international students from more than 100 countries.

Research strengths include defence, engineering, molecular science and technology, and water and environment. 90% of Flinders University’s research has been ranked at or above world standard by ERA (Excellence in Research Australia). Its high tech innovation campus at Tonsley engages students with leading business enterprises, and is home to the Flinders New Venture Institute, a leader in entrepreneurship programs.

About École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées (ENSTA ParisTech), École Centrale de Nantes, CentraleSupélec and École Polytechnique
The consortium brings together some of France’s most prestigious engineering institutions.

  • ENSTA ParisTech, France’s oldest grande école in engineering operates under the auspices of the French Ministry of Defence, with around 500 students and more than 70 agreements with international universities.
  • École Centrale be Nantes, noted for its world-class academic and applied research with approximately 2000 students and 177 partner institutions in 55 countries
  • CentraleSupélec, the result of a 2015 strategic merger between two leading grandes écoles, École Centrale Paris and Supélec, it has almost 5000 students and 193 partnerships in 45 countries
  • École Polytechnique operates under the auspice of the French Ministry of Defence, and has some 2400 students. It is ranked by THE as number 3 in the World’s Best Small Universities.

About DCNS
DCNS is the European leader in naval defence and a major player in marine renewable energy. The Group’s success as an advanced technology company with global reach is built on meeting customer needs by deploying exceptional know-how, unique industrial resources and an ability to develop innovative strategic partnerships. DCNS designs and builds submarines and surface combatants, develops associated systems and infrastructure, and offers a full range of services to naval bases and shipyards. The Group has also expanded its focus into marine renewable energy. Aware of its corporate social responsibilities, DCNS is a member of the United Nations Global Compact. The DCNS Group generates annual revenues of €3.04 billion and employs 12,953 people (2015 data).