RMIT University is partnering with Catalonia’s leading research centre to support technology transfer and innovation for industry in Europe.
The memorandum of understanding with Eurecat – the Technology Centre of Catalonia – signals RMIT’s strong commitment to Barcelona and serves as an alignment of like-minded organisations for cooperation across research, doctoral student training and industry engagement.
The applied cooperation in research will focus initially on lightweight, industrial AI, medical devices, water technologies, energy and quantum computing.
The Catalonia research centre also has research in other relevant areas for RMIT including tourism innovation and creative practices.
RMIT’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global and Vice-President, Professor Peter Coloe, said the spirit of Catalonia as the industrial avant-garde of Spain, with a great tradition of scientific applied research, resonates deeply with RMIT.
“We know that partnerships and collaboration are core to progress and impact – and we’re proud to advance this with our new partner, Eurecat,” Coloe said.
“Eurecat, which is one of the leading technology centres in Southern Europe, brings together the expertise of 650 professionals across its 11 centres in Catalonia to support local and international companies through technology innovation and transfer.
“The RMIT and Eurecat partnership brings together two organisations with missions to make a positive economic and social contribution to the people, communities and countries where they operate,” he said.
The partnership also includes a co-location of both organisations at the Cornerstone complex in Barcelona’s innovation district 22@ in Poble Nou.
The signing of the memorandum of understanding took place online on 4 May with guests including the Australian?Ambassador to Spain, Her Excellency?Ms Sophia McIntyre; the Chief Executive Officer at the Catalonia Trade & Investment Agency (ACCIÓ), Mr Joan Romero; the Research General Director for the Government of Catalonia, Professor Joan Gómez Pallarès and the Vice-President & General Manager at HP 3D Printing Business Mr Ramon Pastor.
Eurecat’s Corporate and Operations General Manager Xavier López said the partnership opens up new opportunities to connect Australian and European expertise for high impact projects with industry.
“RMIT is a global university of reference, not only in academic research and teaching, but also in applied research, technology transfer, innovation – all with strong links to industry,” López said.
“Our agreement will allow us to share ideas, experiences and knowledge to identify opportunities of cooperation at different levels – international R&D projects, international education programs as well as other complementary services for each institution’s partners.”
RMIT has been operating its European hub in Barcelona, RMIT Europe, since 2013 but the University’s history with the city runs deeper, with researchers from RMIT’s Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory involved in the La Sagrada Familia project.
RMIT Europe’s Executive Director Marta Fernandez said the new partnership contributes to RMIT’s established presence in Barcelona and its innovation district as well as the University’s global mindset.
“Collaborating with Catalonia’s leading research centre demonstrates RMIT’s commitment to the city and its presence in Europe as a global university of technology, design and enterprise,” Fernandez said.
“By being closer to partners and like-minded organisations such as Eurecat, we’re able to further expand the opportunities available to RMIT students and researchers in Europe.
“In turn, RMIT serves as gateway for our partners in Europe to Australia and Asia through our established presence in these regions.”
Exchange between RMIT and Eurecat researchers is already underway in lightweighting, led by Associate Professor Andrey Molotnikov and water technologies, led by Professor Jega Jegatheesan, with a global industry and research forum on industrial AI planned for June 2021.