South Australian university partners with US defense contractor Lockheed Martin


South Australian university partners with US defense contractor Lockheed Martin

Eric Ludlow

31 December 2018

The University of Adelaide announced in October that military technology giant Lockheed Martin had become the first partner of the university’s new Australian Institute for Machine Learning (AIML). The institute will be based at the “innovation precinct” known as Lot Fourteen on the seven-hectare redevelopment site of the old Royal Adelaide Hospital in the north-east of the South Australian state capital.

The decision of the University of Adelaide, behind the backs of students and staff, marks a further integration of Australian universities into the US-led war drive against China and Russia under successive Liberal-National coalition and Labor Party governments.

Lockheed Martin Australia will move a team of researchers from the $13-million Science, Technology, Engineering Leadership and Research Laboratory (STELaR Lab) at the University of Melbourne to be co-located with AIML researchers, with honours, doctoral and post-doctoral R&D programs.

STELaR Lab is Lockheed Martin’s first multi-disciplinary R&D (research and development) facility outside the United States. STELaR Lab’s launch in August 2016 was attended by then Liberal-National Coalition Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne, as well as Stephen Conroy, then Labor’s shadow minister for defence, and Victorian Labor Premier Daniel Andrews, in a display of the bipartisan support for the militarisation of universities.

Other major defence research centres and think tanks at universities around the country include the University of Melbourne’s Defence Science Institute, opened in 2010 with the stated aim of building “defence science research networks,” as well as a “memorandum of…

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