An EU-based consortium, of which RMIT University is a strategic partner, has been awarded funding from Erasmus+, a European framework program for education, training, youth and sport.
The funding will support the delivery of a joint masters degree in food innovation and product design.
Early in 2016, RMIT became an associate partner of the international Food Innovation and Production Design (FIPDes) consortium which will develop and implement the new masters degree.
Professor Russell Crawford, Executive Dean of RMIT’s School of Science, said he was delighted to be part of the consortium.
“RMIT has just launched its new Food Research and Innovation Centre for industry-based teaching and research, so it is a natural fit for this university,” he said.
“In the Centre, students, researchers and food businesses have access to equipment and facilities that are unparalleled in Australia. RMIT also has excellent facilities for food chemistry and microbiology.”
The 14.7 billion euro Erasmus+ program combines all the EU's current schemes for education, training, youth and sport.
These schemes include Erasmus Mundus, an international cooperation program initiated by the European Commission to enhance and promote European higher education throughout the world.
“The Erasmus Mundus funding will enable RMIT and its partners in the consortium to develop, promote and deliver a new two-year masters degree,” Crawford said.
FIPDes comprises an international network of 26 partners from academic, research and industrial bodies, including 16 universities in 15 countries. RMIT is the consortium’s only Australian partner in this project.
Partners in the consortium support a range of activities including dissemination of the masters program within and outside of Europe, advice on selection of candidates, delivery of modules and projects, qualitative assessment, opportunities for research internships, and development of joint masters thesis subjects within collaborative research projects.
The close relationship within FIPDes between research institutions and food industry organisations will enable the curriculum of the masters degree to be specially designed to take into consideration the needs of potential employers.
In early 2017, RMIT will relaunch its own Master of Food Technology and Innovation, with individual courses to be shared with the international program.
Story: Pauline Charleston