With the development of new products becoming increasingly complex and companies requiring added expertise in order to remain competitive, the importance of cooperation between research and industry will continue to grow. As head of strategic R&D management at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, Prof. Frank Wagner has over 25 years of experience and is regarded as one of the leading experts in this field. With this new appointment, his experience in research and development will benefit not only UniSA but also industry worldwide.
Turning research innovations into new applications
As Dean of Industry and Corporate at UniSA, Wagner will work closely with Prof. Marnie Hughes-Warrington (Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Enterprise), with the aim of further enhancing the university’s already good reputation for industrial partnerships and research. The focus will be on solving problems and delivering tangible benefits for industry and society. “His expertise in forging key links between research and industry – and doing so on a global level – will help ensure that major research innovations produced at this university connect with the areas in which they can be used – in manufacturing, defense, aerospace, government policy, the economy and healthcare,” says Hughes-Warrington. Wagner's appointment is intended to further strengthen this position and to develop stronger local and global partnerships for the benefit of the economy and the community.
Potential for further industrial partnerships
Before joining Fraunhofer IAO as a research fellow, Wagner studied engineering cybernetics at the University of Stuttgart. At Fraunhofer IAO, he was head of the Competence Center for R&D Management from 1997 to 2018 and sat on the institute’s steering committee. Wagner has alternated between academic work and a career in management. In between spells in industry, he was visiting lecturer for technology management at the University of Stuttgart and adjunct professor at the Faculty of Science and Engineering of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia.
Wagner has published more than 50 works in the field of technology and R&D management. On behalf of both Fraunhofer IAO and the University of Stuttgart, he has established long-term research partnerships with companies such BMW, Danfoss, Bosch, Hexagon and Festo. Wagner sees his new position at UniSA as a major opportunity to forge further partnerships with industry. “UniSA’s approach combines a commitment to quality with a focus on research and therefore has the ability to exert influence and bring about positive change,” he says.