South Australia's IT workforce is about to get a boost, with the University of South Australia announcing a partnership with global giant Hewlett-Packard (HP).
The partnership will see HP expand its South Australian workforce by more than 400 people over the next four years, and open a new HP Innovation and Collaboration Centre at UniSA's City West campus from April. The centre will have its permanent home in the university's new science building being constructed as part of the health precinct developments, which is due for completion by 2017.
HP will also be a foundation partner in UniSA's Science Creativity and Education studio, which will be located in the new building, too.
As part of the new partnership, UniSA and HP will co-develop and launch a new four-year honours degree program in IT and business informatics, coupling education with internships in HP for students during the course of their studies.
UniSA vice chancellor professor David Lloyd said the partnership is great news for students, South Australia's information and technology industry, and the state's profile.
"HP's expansion and investment in South Australia will bring jobs growth, but also vital opportunities for students and graduates to engage in industry-based experience and learning," he said.
"The new HP Innovation and Collaboration Centre at UniSA will provide a unique environment where students, graduates, commercialisation experts, and industry have opportunities to explore new ideas for business and products, acting as an incubator for new small to medium enterprises and a pipeline for the commercialisation of new innovations."
The state government will also commit AU$150,000 per year for a student entrepreneur initiative that will support students to pursue commercialisation of new ideas in the IT sector in partnership with HP and other companies.
HP South Pacific managing director Nick Wilson said the partnership will help further promote IT education, training, and careers in the state.
"Our collaboration with UniSA in developing a four-year honours degree will give South Australian students access to a world-leading ICT education," he said.
"SMEs, industry, and students will also be able to take advantage of the extraordinary new Innovation and Collaboration Centre."