RMIT’s new automation software engineering research centre to boost industry ties


RMIT University has launched the Australia-India Research Centre for Automation Software Engineering (AICAUSE), connecting the University with ABB.

Image credit:
Mallikarjun Kande (ABB India) Professor Suresh Bhargava, Simon de Bell (ABB Australia), Professor Margaret Gardner AO and Professor Heinz Schmidt.
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The launching ceremony was hosted by RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO and was attended by dignitaries from ABB Australia and ABB India, as well as representatives from RMIT’s senior management.

“As a university of technology and design, RMIT is not only focused in its education and research, but also committed to a philosophy of education and research founded in action and experience,” said Professor Gardner.

“This requires training and education and as well as research and development that engages with partners such as ABB Australia and their global networks – working with others to achieve our goals.”

After the launching ceremony, which demonstrated the implementation of the centre’s deployment of its core capability of cloud support, robotic testing and visualisation control, the guests joined a tour of the facilities including the Global Operations Visualisation, Advanced Manufacturing Robot Interoperation Test and Cyber-Physical Simulation Rack laboratories.

Simon de Bell, ABB Australia Business Development Manager and AICAUSE Advisory Board member, said innovation played a crucial role in securing the future of energy supply in Australia.

“Practical, results-oriented research alliances with universities such as RMIT are a fundamental element for ABB to deliver power and productivity in an energy-intensive world,” he said.

According to the news release by RMIT, the centre’s Virtual Interoperation Testing Laboratory (VITElab) was funded by the portfolio of Victorian Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips under the Digital Futures Fund, which is part of Victoria’s Technology Plan for the Futures (Biotech and ICT).

Professor Heinz Schmidt, Director eResearch and AICAUSE, said the centre was looking to collaborate with other industries outside ABB and attract grants outside the current funding commitments, which end in 2016. He also said the centre was moving to establish an ICT focused PhD program with institutes in Bangalore, India, leveraging the ABB partnership in Bangalore.