University of Rhode Island, Flinders University (Australia) announce partnership in support of AUKUS Agreement

KINGSTON, R.I. – May 23, 2023 – On Thursday, May 25, the University of Rhode Island will host a delegation from Flinders University of Australia for a series of discussions to formalize the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities. The agreement comes on the heels of the trilateral security pact signed by the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom—known as the AUKUS agreement—that will include a phased approach to build Australia’s undersea capability through the acquisition of conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines.

The ceremonial MOU signing is the culmination of a two-day visit during which representatives from Flinders will tour URI’s Kingston and Narragansett Bay campuses and meet with URI faculty members and researchers, as well as representatives from the U.S. Navy, and URI partners at MITRE and MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, to discuss upcoming opportunities for collaboration.

Flinders University, located in Adelaide, South Australia, is a leading international university in Australia with a record of excellence and innovation in teaching and research, supporting a long history of collaboration with defense and industry. Its noted capability in the defense sphere spans maritime engineering, digital engineering, mechanical engineering, nanotechnology, robotics, cyber defense and electronic warfare, and reskilling. As the Southern Hemisphere’s hub in a global innovation ecosystem, Flinders University is home to the Factory of the Future advanced manufacturing research and test facility developed in collaboration with BAE Systems Maritime Australia and the South Australian and Australian governments. The Factory of the Future places South Australia at the forefront of developing sophisticated industry linked research, education, and training facilities.

URI is known globally for its strength in oceanography and ocean engineering, which includes notable defense-focused university-industry partnerships and a collaboration with the U.S. Navy. It is home to 401 Tech Bridge, an economic development program that connects manufacturers, small businesses, research and development entities, trade organizations and state and defense agencies to collaborate in the development of new advanced materials, technologies, and products. URI is also home to the National Institute for Undersea Vehicle Technologies, a university-industry partnership in collaboration with the University of Connecticut and the U.S. Navy to advance the capabilities of the next generation U.S. undersea fleet through innovative workforce training and by accelerating the research, development, and transition of key enabling technologies. In addition, URI hosts the Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center and the University’s Bay Campus is home to one of only 25 university-based nuclear reactors in the United States.

The relationship between the two universities will open the door for collaborative research and education programs, information sharing, relationship building with government and industry, as well as the potential for joint events and workshops—all intended to drive innovation in support of AUKUS. It coincides with an agreement between Flinders and the University of Manchester, the lead university in the UK’s Nuclear Technology Education Consortium, which will deliver its nuclear master’s and doctoral-level research training in South Australia to build capacity to meet industry needs.

WHO:  University of Rhode Island President Marc Parlange, Flinders University President and Vice Chancellor Colin Stirling, URI faculty and researchers and representatives from the U.S. Navy, MITRE, MIT Lincoln Laboratory

WHAT: Luncheon and ceremonial MOU signing

WHEN: Thursday, May 25, 2023, 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: University of Rhode Island Kingston Campus
Robert J. Higgins Welcome Center, Anchor Room
45 Upper College Road, Kingston

TO MAKE COVERAGE ARRANGEMENTS: Contact Dawn Bergantino, URI Communications and Marketing, 401-874-4147,