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IRL and partners in moves to grow high-tech workforce

Industrial Research Ltd (IRL) is establishing a Joint Graduate School in Innovative Manufacturing and Materials with the University of Auckland, and throwing its weight behind Chiasma, a nationwide organisation that links highly skilled students with high-tech industry, as part of a series of initiatives designed to grow New Zealand’s high value manufacturing sector.

IRL Chief Executive Shaun Coffey announced the establishment of the school today at The University of Auckland during his keynote at Synapse 2012, Chiasma’s premier science-business event.

“The joint graduate school will deliver benefits to the New Zealand high value manufacturing sector and allied industries by providing advanced training in innovative manufacturing and materials science and encouraging collaborative research,” Shaun Coffey said.

University of Auckland Dean of Engineering Professor Michael Davies said many of the challenges our society currently faced would be solved by tomorrow’s scientists and engineers.

“The Joint Graduate School gives us an opportunity to enhance the education we give to our advanced students to ensure they have the skills they need to contribute.”

Bringing together the complementary facilities and expertise of IRL and the Faculties of Science and Engineering at The University of Auckland, the joint graduate school will offer postgraduate degrees in the design and manufacture of advanced materials and the development of innovative manufacturing techniques, co-supervised by researchers from the two institutions.

“IRL and the University of Auckland both have key roles to play in providing NZ manufacturers and allied industries with opportunities for technological innovation and growth,” Shaun Coffey said.

“The Joint Graduate School provides a powerful new vehicle for developing New Zealand’s future capability in these important enabling areas.”

The school will increase the pool of employment-ready scientists and engineers available to industry and academia, provide leadership in postgraduate education in manufacturing and materials science in New Zealand and internationally, produce graduates who will be highly sought after by research institutions and manufacturing companies, and increase research collaboration between the two institutions.

Shaun Coffey also announced that IRL was providing support for Chiasma, New Zealand's premier student-led organisation whose goal is to foster connections between science and business and to drive private-sector employment of scientists and engineers.

“Both initiatives – the joint graduate school and support for Chiasma – will provide the high value manufacturing sector with the specialised high tech skills it needs to grow and innovate, and contribute to the development of a highly networked science and innovation system that harnesses collaboration for the benefit of NZ business.”


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