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All roads lead to Rome: Curtin University signs MoU with Consulate of Italy

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Curtin University staff and students will have new opportunities to work alongside and learn from internationally renowned academic and industry leaders, after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Consulate of Italy in Perth.

Curtin Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Global, Professor Seth Kunin and Consulate of Italy Acting Consul Dr Emilio Sessa signed the agreement at the University’s Bentley campus.

The MoU has a strong focus on sustainability and will see increased collaboration between Curtin and several Italian universities on research and other academic activities, plus several staff and student exchange programs.

This includes the organisation of exhibitions in Perth, visiting scholars and industry experts — such as internationally renowned architect Mario Cucinella, who has won global acclaim integrating environmental and energy strategies into his designs and was on hand to witness the signing.

The partnership with the Consulate of Italy is the latest dimension of wider collaborative activity that Curtin has in the fields of Design, Creative Disciplines, Built Environment and Sustainability, which includes partnering with the City of Perth.

In addition to Mr Cucinella’s visit, this has also already seen an exhibition on the work of Pier Luigi Nervi and the academic visit of Professor Mario Panizza.

Curtin Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Global, Professor Xiaotian Zhang said the MoU is an important mark for enhancing the University’s ongoing partnerships and developing new initiatives with a special focus on environmental sustainability.

“Curtin’s faculties and schools are working closely with partners in Italy in a broad range of educational disciplines and research fields, including architecture, design, entrepreneurship and innovation, radio astronomy, and sustainable development, among others,” Professor Zhang said.

“For example, the world’s leading scientists and engineers from Curtin and Italy work closely together to add enormous contributions to the Square Kilometre Array project, which is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio astronomy observatory to change our understanding of the universe.

“We are also exploring new avenues of academic collaborations, such as joint global short courses and a potential academic exchange with Curtin’s global campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, and Dubai.”

Dr Sessa said Italy and Australia have a strong commitment for tackling the climate crisis and reaching ambitious sustainability targets.

“This MoU represents an important opportunity to make the bilateral collaboration stronger in terms of academic and cultural projects in the fields of design, architecture, green and circular economy,” he said.

“At the same time, it aims to stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship and competitiveness in our communities.”

City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas said supporting the sharing of knowledge in the design space was critical for the sustainability of urban areas, like Perth.

“Mario Cucinella is a global thought leader in architecture and built design and we’re so pleased to welcome him to Perth to share his insights,” Mr Zempilas said.

“His experience with innovative and sustainable urban development is invaluable to our local architects, developers and town planners, as we work to build an even brighter and more sustainable future for our city.”

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