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Name of Collaboration: Flinders University, BAE Systems Australia and TAFE SA: Diploma of Digital Technologies

Collaborating Partners:

Flinders University
BAE Systems Australia
TAFE SA


The Diploma of Digital Technologies is a collaboration between Flinders University, BAE Systems Australia and TAFE SA. It contributes to furthering sovereign capability along with supporting innovation, continuous naval shipbuilding and ultimately, upskilling the workforce to deliver superior capability to the Australian Defence Force.

The major aims of the project include:

  • Equipping shipyard workers with skills necessary to maximise the benefit of the world class digital shipyard
  • Seeding capability to drive Industry 4.0 enabled world leading practices
  • Building performance and competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the supply chain
  • Growing the pipeline of capability into defence and related industries by upskilling STEM teachers.

The program commenced in 2020 with a focus on shipbuilding workers and evolved in 2021 to upskill SME and teacher groups. From 2022, the intent is to expand the program nationally in a range of defence segments, additional SMEs and other industries.

While the defence industry has been a catalyst for the uptake of industry 4.0 technologies, the outcomes of the collaboration can be replicated in other industries.

The collaboration has the potential to increase the number of students in STEM and job ready industries.

The program has secured funding for women over the next 4 years to progress addressing the current under-representation of women in both engineering and defence. Professionals Australia highlighted the under-representation of women in Defence, a low 14 per cent inclusion.

The Diploma was initially intended to be delivered face-to-face to full-time students, now it is being delivered online part-time with 2 weeks of intensive labs per year, catering well for working participants.

This industry collaboration recognises that large scale projects like the Hunter Class Frigate Program play a catalytic role in accelerating the growth of sovereign advanced manufacturing – propelling the ongoing growth of the Defence industry in Australia, with spill-overs to other sectors.