Internship program connects innovation with business


Putting research to work requires industry collaboration with education providers. Manufacturers’ Monthly reports.

In 2017, the Office of Innovation and Science Australia released a review of innovation in Australia. Despite finding that Australia’s knowledge creation scored an A, the nation’s grades for applying this research to industry were significantly lower: knowledge transfer received a C, while knowledge application got a F.

Attempting to raise these scores, including in the cross-over between university research and the manufacturing sector, is the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute’s national all sector, all discipline PhD internship program, Australian Postgraduate Research (APR).Intern. Providing a pathway between industry and academia, the program is also putting focus on equity in STEM with engagement of women, Indigenous Australians and disadvantaged PhD students essential to ensure skill supply.

Thanks to a recent partnership with the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), APR.Intern’s impact on the manufacturing sector is set to deepen. Under this agreement, the program will place 23 PhD students with matched manufacturing SMEs and large corporations to confront the contemporary challenges of the manufacturing sector.

The partnership between APR. Intern and the IMCRC is designed to help manufacturing businesses adopt Industry 4.0 practices currently being tested and trialled in tertiary STEM faculties.

Since the partnership began at the end of March, a student has already been placed with metal 3D printing company Spee3D. As seen in the report by the Office of Innovation and Science Australia, manufacturing businesses in Australia and research institutions have historically struggled to build bridges between their respective worlds. In occupying the middle- ground between the two sectors, APR. Intern hopes this partnership will enable deeper research relationships to come to fruition.