RMIT Europe has appointed media anthropologist Professor Jo Tacchi as its first Director of Research and Innovation, and Deputy to the President.
With an interest in media and digital ethnography as well as innovative approaches to applications of ethnography in applied research, Professor Tacchi will be based at RMIT Europe’s Barcelona centre.
She said she was looking forward to building on the opportunities, strengths and connections that had been built up by RMIT Europe since it opened in 2013, including a number of active research and PhD collaborations.
“The potential is enormous, and having the dedicated role of Director of Research and Innovation will mean that we can follow up on the many opportunities and strengthen connections between RMIT and European researchers and industry,” Professor Tacchi said.
“This will help us build networks and profile in Europe and engage more effectively and visibly in some key European and global research issues.
“RMIT Europe is part of the internationalisation ambition of RMIT, and as such is a relatively new but key capacity in a large and global University.
“My role is to ensure that our European research activities are situated within this global presence, benefiting from and strengthening our connections across Australia, Asia, Europe and Latin America.”
The centre was an important addition to RMIT’s global presence, Professor Tacchi said.
“RMIT Europe is an agile and innovative addition to RMIT,” she said.
“It allows us to fulfil our European research ambitions and, given our location in Barcelona, provides a route into Latin America.
“RMIT Europe represents a concrete illustration of RMIT’s global focus.
“We have a small staff in Barcelona, but a huge resource across the University.
“Our European office provides physical and intellectual infrastructure to enable closer connections and collaborations to help us overcome the problems associated with distance.
“Many RMIT researchers have already spent time at RMIT Europe, and as this increases we will see a seamless connection developing across the University's international research.”
RMIT Europe has developed a range of partnerships that include 35 universities across the continent, city partners such as Barcelona, London, Stockholm, Manchester, Copenhagen and Karlsruhe and industry partners including Volvo Cars, BMW, SEAT, VW, Mercedes, Airbus, Rolls Royce, Solvay and Novartis, governments, international agencies, research councils, foundations and not-for-profit organisations.