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Flinders Uni gets a $250k lab from industry

SA-based communications company MIMP Connecting Solutions is teaming up with Flinders University to provide students with access to cutting edge telecommunications equipment.

The quarter-million-dollar MIMP Edge Lab, located at the Flinders University precinct at Adelaide’s Tonsley Park, will provide an interactive showcase of the latest technology from MIMP and its partners including NEC, Aviat and CommScope.

About 100 students from Flinders’ network systems, computer science, software engineering and information technology streams will have access to the new equipment as well as to senior MIMP engineering staff who design innovative wireless networks.

MIMP has signed a memorandum of understanding with Flinders’ entrepreneurship arm, New Venture Institute (NVI), to set up the MIMP Edge Lab within the next three months.  
NVI Director Matt Salier said the MIMP Edge Lab was a “win-win” for both organisations. “Students and researchers in our post-grad areas will get access to cutting edge technology and to MIMP’s design personnel with deep practical experience,” he said.  

“As well as MIMP’s R&D team interacting with our research people, MIMP will have access to a talent pipeline that provides a natural self-selection of people who may end up getting employment with the company. So the benefits will flow both ways.”

MIMP CEO Allan Aitchison said the MIMP Edge Lab would help solve the budgetary challenges that prevented universities buying the latest technology each year. 

“While Tonsley Park is state-of-the-art, a lot of students don't get to use technology until it's several years old because of Capex (capital expenditure) constraints,” he said.
“This lab will give them access to the latest kit from MIMP and its partners. More importantly, they will become part of our R&D discussions about how to deliver the best communication solutions for our customers.

“For example, we may give students a project that asks them to design something. If they come up with what we've designed, then we've won. If they come up with something better, we've also won – and we’ve identified a potential recruit.”

Students, post-graduate researchers and academics at the Tonsley Park precinct – formerly the site of Mitsubishi Motors – will use the MIMP Edge Lab.

Mr Aitchison said the equipment, provided by both MIMP and its channel partners, would progressively build up to more than $250,000 in value. “The kit will keep changing as new equipment is released, so students will have a constant window to the future,” he said.

“Students will also have the opportunity to work in our office. Everyone here is on board about creating a chance to engage students in a real-life business to increase their long-term ability to get a job.”


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