The University of South Australia has been awarded a prestigious Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence from the European Union’s Erasmus+ program to build closer ties between Europe and Australia.
This funding will support activity – including research, outreach and public diplomacy initiatives – that will investigate, report on and influence developments surrounding the digital revolution and digital policy between the EU and Australia.
Part of the European Commission’s Erasmus+ program, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence funding is awarded to organisations and institutions that offer unique expertise on the EU. It brings together leading experts to bridge the gap between the various disciplines and resources in European studies and to form links with academic institutions in other countries.
The centre’s Executive Director, Professor Anthony Elliott, will lead an international team over the next four years investigating the digital revolution, including AI, Industry 4.0, advanced manufacturing changes, creative economies and workplace transformations.
The EU announced the funding today, citing UniSA’s “established track record of managing EU projects, leading international networks and promoting EU public diplomacy”.
Prof Elliott, who is also UniSA Dean of External Engagement, says the funding will give greater visibility to issues around European integration and the EU as a global actor, as well as EU studies more generally in South Australia.
“This is an exciting achievement and an honour for our young centre”, Prof Elliott says. “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.”
The JMCOE promotes EU-Australia relations in various ways, including 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.
Innovation and digitisation are central themes for JMCOE, reflecting the European Commission’s strategic goal to ensure that Europe is “fit for the digital age”.
UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Enterprise, Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington, says the award underlines the University’s research strengths in digital technologies.
“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. UniSA is well placed to help the EU answer these challenges and foster closer academic ties with Europe in the process.”