The University of South Australia has received European Union funding to build closer ties between Europe and Australia.
The money will support research, outreach and public diplomacy initiatives surrounding the digital revolution and digital policy between the EU and Australia.
UniSA’s Professor Anthony Elliott will lead an international team at Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (JMCOE) over the next four years. The group will investigate subjects including digital revolution, AI, Industry 4.0, advanced manufacturing changes, creative economies and workplace transformations.
JMCOE’s research focuses on innovation and digitisation, reflecting the European Commission’s strategic goal to ensure Europe is ‘fit for the digital age’.
The centre promotes EU-Australia relations with public lectures, events, workshops and masterclasses on EU topics; liaising with government, business and other stakeholders; academic research and EU studies for undergraduate and postgraduate courses; and international collaborations.
In a statement, Elliot (who is also the university’s Dean of External Engagement) said JMCOE would give greater visibility to issues around European integration and the EU as a global actor, as well as EU studies more generally.
“This is an exciting achievement and an honour for our young centre,” Elliott said.
“It demonstrates our team’s internationally recognised excellence in digitalisation and its focus on Australia-EU relations. This is a major leap for deepening our track record of European funding.”
Institutions that offer unique expertise on the EU are eligible for the funding, awarded as part of the EU’s Erasmus+ program.
Announcing the award on Tuesday, the EU said UniSA had an ‘established track record’ of managing EU projects, leading international networks and promoting EU public diplomacy.
Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Enterprise, welcomed the award’s recognition of UniSA’s research strengths.
“The digital revolution is transforming our lives. From social media to advanced robotics, and from AI to chatbots, digitalisation is changing how we live, work and engage with each other,” Hughes-Warrington said.