The South Australian Government is investing up to $1.85 million to establish two Industry Doctoral Training Centres (IDTCs), with the first cohort of 30 domestic and international students commencing their PhD programs today.
The two IDTCs will be run as a pilot over the next four years, focusing on the globally relevant themes of biomanufacturing and the industrial application for quantum technologies.
Developing the next generation of research leaders with expertise in these critical technologies will support a future workforce that provides South Australia and Australia with a clear competitive advantage – accelerating productivity growth, creating well-paying jobs and securing supply chains.
Based on the UK Centres of Doctoral Training model, the South Australian pilot aims to facilitate knowledge transfer between research and business, develop innovations of commercial relevance, and support greater mobility of graduates between research and industry.
Each IDTC will accept up to 15 PhD students from South Australia’s major universities, and across different research fields, to participate in the unique four-year doctorate program.
Students will be matched with both a research supervisor and industry mentor to develop the transferrable skills required to deliver ground-breaking research and gain an understanding of how this research applies to industry.
The South Australian Government is finalising arrangements for national not-for-profit MTPConnect to deliver a PhD+ program to participants of the biomanufacturing stream – complementing their studies with interactive learning sessions to build their knowledge and capacity in biomanufacturing, leadership and research translation.
Chief Scientist for South Australia Professor Caroline McMillen said, having seen how successful IDTCs are overseas, she is delighted to work with colleagues across universities, industry and government to deliver this initiative.
“This is a key step in building strong collaborations between our next generation research leaders and priority industry sectors,” she said.
“IDTCs offer an important opportunity for our PhD students to engage with cutting-edge research in areas of importance to industry, gain insight into major business challenges, and build a network of research and business peers which will stand them in great stead for their future.”
Medtech company BioCina is one of the industry partners who will host a PhD student through the IDTC initiative.
Chief Executive Officer Ian Wisenberg said he is excited by the prospect of IDTCs being established in South Australia – “not only because the development of a highly-skilled local talent pool will benefit employers such as BioCina, but also as a means for bolstering South Australia’s, as well as Australia’s, global reputation in high-growth industry sectors.”
“BioCina relies on a highly skilled R&D workforce that understands all elements of the regulated industry we work in,” he said.
“Graduates that are ‘ready’ to work in industry are highly desirable for our current business needs as well as supporting our future expansion plans.”