RMIT launches AICAUSE with industry partner ABB

ABB Australia Pty Ltd
Monday, 24 March, 2014


RMIT University has launched the Australia-India Research Centre for Automation Software Engineering (AICAUSE) with industry partner ABB. Hosted by RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Margaret Gardner AO, the launch ceremony 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 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.”

Professor Gardner presses the buttons to officially launch the centre. Image credit: RMIT University.

Professor Gardner presses the buttons to officially launch the centre. Image credit: RMIT University.

The launch demonstrated the implementation of the centre’s deployment of its core capability of cloud support, robotic testing and visualisation control, with the facility at the City campus connecting with sites at ABB Australia and India.

Following the launch, 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, highlighted the critical role of innovation 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.

Global Operations Visualisation Lab with Jan Blech (Research Fellow) and Ian Peake (Lab Manager) in front of the wall. Image credit: RMIT University.

Global Operations Visualisation Lab with Jan Blech (Research Fellow) and Ian Peake (Lab Manager) in front of the wall. Image credit: RMIT University.

The centre - and in particular its eResearch component, the Virtual Interoperation Testing Laboratory (VITElab) - is funded by the portfolio of Victorian Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips under the Digital Futures Fund, part of the state’s Technology Plan for the Future (Biotech and ICT).

This government strategy includes the ‘eResearch Agenda’ supporting skills development, data management and collaboration technology.

Professor Heinz Schmidt, Director eResearch and AICAUSE, said ABB Australia had provided a site in the AICAUSE Virtual Laboratory in Notting Hill, in the south-east of Melbourne, with connectivity being provided to equipment deployed at RMIT’s City campus.

“Through the VITElab, ABB is also providing access to its testing facility in Bangalore - the largest such facility in the world,” he said.

“By virtue of the ABB Bangalore Corporate Research Centre, RMIT is linked into the global research network of ABB headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. This network includes seven ABB corporate research centres and partner universities worldwide.”

Mallikarjun Kande (ABB India) Professor Suresh Bhargava, Simon de Bell (ABB Australia), Professor Margaret Gardner AO and Professor Heinz Schmidt. Image credit: RMIT University.

Mallikarjun Kande (ABB India) Professor Suresh Bhargava, Simon de Bell (ABB Australia), Professor Margaret Gardner AO and Professor Heinz Schmidt. Image credit: RMIT University.

AICAUSE was established in 2012 and enables the engagement of relevant research strengths from the Platform Technologies Research Institute and the Design Research Institute within the ABB-RMIT partnership, beyond software engineering.

It is designed to encourage partnership across disciplines, with a number of researchers outside the School of Computer Science and Information Technology already involved in its activities.

Professor Schmidt said the centre aimed to engage with other industries outside ABB and attract grants beyond the current funding commitments, which finish in 2016.

The centre is also moving to establish an ICT-focused PhD program with institutes in Bangalore, India, leveraging the ABB partnership in Bangalore.

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