Australia's Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering, and the Australian Council of Deans of Science are collaborating to deliver a new program across Australia.
The National Graduate Innovation Forum is an opportunity for PhD candidates to apply scientific thinking to four industry challenges.
The forum, launched virtually on July 12, will culminate in a final event on November 10. Candidates will work together in groups to address a key challenge presented by each of the four industry partners involved in the forum - Airbus Australia Pacific, Thales Australia, Bluescope Steel, and Romar Engineering. The teams are being provided with design-thinking training and mentored by industry leaders and industry-focused academics.
ANSTO Senior Manager of Industry and Stakeholder Engagement Sandy Haig said the initiative aimed to bridge the gap between scientists and industry, creating benefits for both PhD candidates and industry.
“As PhD candidates often tend towards careers in academia so they can answer difficult questions, this forum may open up an alternative pathway with immediate, real-world benefits, as well as introducing them to careers they may not have considered previously,” Ms Haig said.
“This also ensures the deep knowledge and skills of these candidates are noticed while providing companies with a fresh set of eyes and ideas.
“For industry, the application of scientific thinking to key industry challenges will allow for enhanced industry capability.
“This event is a great opportunity for talented graduate candidates to meet the challenges of real industry problems and demonstrates the value of research-trained people to Australian industries.”
This inaugural event aims to inform future forums with a broader range of industries and facilitate future industry partnership programs, opening the door to continued engagement between PhD candidates and industry for more research and science-informed industry capability.