Executive Director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and Network at the University of South Australia, Professor Anthony Elliott, has won a second successive grant from the European Union for a prestigious Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Project. The Project, entitled “Discourses on European Union I4.0 Innovation” (DEUI4I), is the only successful Australian based application funded by the EU for the 2019 Erasmus+ cycle.

Professor Elliott, who recently delivered an Academy-supported public lecture on artificial intelligence and the future of Australia for Social Science Week, 2019, said the award “is very exciting for our team of researchers, and important for the development and deepening of research synergies and partnerships with top European universities and enterprises.”

The funding is delivered through the EU’s Erasmus+ Program and supports two years of activities that will examine EU Industry Policy and its role in the integration of the EU. This work will complement other EU supported activities led by Professor Elliott, notably that of the Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre, the Jean Monnet Network on “Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility: EU and Australasian Innovations” and the recently completed Jean Monnet Project on “Digital Technologies, Transformations and Skills: Robotics and EU Perceptions”.

About the DEUI4I Project

This Jean Monnet Project, Discourses on European Union I4.0 Innovation (DEUI4I), promotes a broad understanding of the evolution of EU Industry Policy and its role in the integration of the EU. The project asks what Australia and other countries in the Asia Pacific region can learn from European innovation by investigating the EU’s policy and strategic approach to facilitating and managing the transition to I4.0 across regions and among SMEs and Midcaps as well as large corporations.

DEUI4I is a “spread content” project which aims to:

(1) Perform observatory and curatorial functions in bringing together research on the EU’s initiatives on Industry 4.0 (I4.0) innovation and its policy implications in order to prepare future political leaders, opinion leaders and policy makers on the digital disruption of enterprises and employment, as well as the redefinition of digital skills for work and lifestyle change. This will involve international collaborative research and tertiary education on European manufacturing innovation and advanced digital production technologies, particularly in relation to their potential to enhance EU integration processes and multilateral governance.

(2) Analyse the impacts of EU and third-country I4.0 policies in terms of the efficiency, equitability and sustainability with which they are managing shifts away from older forms of industrial organization.

(3) Promote engagement with EU policy processes around I4.0 on the part of senior policy makers, business and civil society leaders, academics and other key stakeholders in focused discussion of key issues under negotiation on EU I4.0 innovation and advanced digital transformation strategies.

(4) Promote EU studies through facilitating early career researcher engagement with and capability in relation to the analysis of EU processes concerning digital transformations and innovation, and develop resources that will assist with sustaining research and teaching in this field, as well as EU studies more generally, beyond the life of the project.

Through a comprehensive platform of activities, DEUI4I assembles a multinational global team which will be co-ordinated from the Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (HEUJMCOE) at the University of South Australia. The project is led by Executive Director of the HEUJMCOE Professor Anthony Elliott, who is internationally recognised for his research in European social theory, global digital transformations and the social science of AI and Industry 4.0. The team includes Professor Martin Holland, who holds New Zealand’s only Jean Monnet Chair (ad personam), and is internationally recognised for his work on EU Development Policy, Common Foreign and Security Policy and Perceptions of the EU; Professor Sven Kesselring, Research Cluster Director of the Jean Monnet Network on Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility, is Professor in Automotive Management and Sustainable Mobilities at Nuertingen Geislingen University, Germany; and Professor Roman Batko, Activity Leader (Poland) for the Jean Monnet Project on Digital Technologies, Transformations and Skills, is Professor of Management and Social Communication Jagiellonian University, Poland.

DEUI4I organises a suite of activities, co-created events and deliverables, including:

• 2 European workshops
• End-user (policy, stakeholder and educator) briefings in Australia
• Key issues e-booklet for educators, researchers and stakeholders
• Case study and comprehensive resource package
• Scholarly publication
• DEUI4I Project website