The University of Southampton has become one of the first universities to sign a strategic framework agreement with BAE Systems.
The agreement with the defence firm looks to build on previous collaboration with the University in research, education and consultancy.
BAE is currently undertaking a review of its university partnerships strategy in order to be able to work closer with a number of institutions with shared expertise in future capability.
Professor Mark Spearing, University Vice President of Research and Enterprise, said: “The University has today taken a major step forward in strengthening its long-standing relationship with BAE Systems.
“Our partnerships with industry are key to delivering our strategy and this agreement will support the continued growth of this relationship over the coming years.”
The university and BAE have previously worked together on award-winning research projects ALADDIN (Autonomous Learning Agents for Decentralised Data and Networks), which focused on improving intelligence co-ordination over disaster management, and ORCHID, which primarily concentrated on developing human and software agent interaction through Human-Agent Collectives.
John Hudson, BAE Systems Managing Director, Maritime, commented: “Our strategic partnerships with leading academic institutions such as the University of Southampton ensure we continue to drive forward research and development of technology.
“Working together, industry and academia can help this country maintain its established position at the forefront of worldwide innovation and engineering excellence. I am delighted to have been able to sign this framework agreement with the University of Southampton today.”
Not unexpectedly for a firm in the defence industry, BAE has also attracted controversy, with some critical of their close relationship with the Saudi Arabia’s monarchy.
Based on 2012 revenues, BAE was the world’s second-largest defence contractor and in 2015 was reported to have approximately 83,000 employees.