It was with great pleasure that our Chancellor, Bill Scales and I welcomed more than 500 people to the launch of the Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC).
We were delighted that Senator the Hon Kim Carr, then Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research was present to officially launch the ATC. The event allowed us an opportunity to acknowledge the generous support from the Commonwealth Government through the Education Investment Fund, which assisted us to achieve this bold and innovative endeavour.
Yesterday was also a time to recognise the legacy that my predecessor, Professor Ian Young left - ensuring that Swinburne would be well so well served by a strong infrastructure program. And the event was an occasion to congratulate all who have been involved in making the Advanced Technologies Centre for education and research a reality.
At Swinburne we have built upon our history and focused our efforts in key areas of science and engineering where we know we can offer world-class innovations and significant fundamental science developments. Our strengths in the social sciences and business and enterprise provide us with the interdisciplinary array of capability necessary to bring the benefits of science and technology to society.
We recognise the importance of world-class research facilities to ensure that we attract and retain the best and the brightest. We know that advanced scientific and technical facilities provide our students with optimal education and research training experiences. Our tangible investment in research infrastructure signals our long-term commitment to excellence. Swinburne researchers who are privileged to work in this extraordinary facility will undertake important research that will have a vital impact on mental health, manufacturing, transport, sustainable energy solutions, buildings, transport and waste management.
The event allowed us to underscore the message that we do not work in isolation. We acknowledged the important engagement we have with industry, government agencies and other universities. Our investment in world-class infrastructure is a catalyst for collaborations with educators and researcher teams from other parts of Australia and around the world.
The ATC represents the pinnacle of our investment in research infrastructure so far, but it will soon be joined, quite literally, by the $100 million Advanced Manufacturing Centre (AMC) - a facility that will support world-leading research, education and training in advanced manufacturing techniques. The AMC will house the 'Factory of the Future', transforming engineering education at Swinburne and developing skills and knowledge in graduates to meet the rapidly advancing needs of the manufacturing sector.
The AMC is scheduled to be open for the start of the 2014 academic year and will provide a platform for even greater industry collaboration. I look forward to celebrating this next step in Swinburne's exciting journey and thank you all for your contributions to our highly respected teaching and research programs.
Professor Linda Kristjanson