SAAA Conference 2017: presentations

Matthew Coote

Special Projects Officer, EU Centre at RMIT University

EU Centre at RMIT research activities

The EU Centre at RMIT promotes a better understanding of the EU and EU-Australia relations. The Centre is funded through a grant from the European Commission and RMIT University.

The Centre provides a focal point for research, teaching and outreach activities concerning the EU, Australia and the Asia Pacific region. It supports the distribution of information and knowledge from academia to industry and the community at large.

Comparative Regional Policy is one example of a major research program of the Centre. This program draws on expertise to investigate the implementation of EU Regional Policy and ‘Smart Specialisation’ in contrast with regional development policy in Australia and Asian countries.

The Centre encourages collaborative projects and joint funding initiatives. This includes European partners seeking expert third country partners from Australia.

For researchers, including Australian organisations and individuals, there exists collaborative funding opportunities such as EU programme Horizon 2020 – the largest research and innovation-funding program in the world. Other research funding opportunities exist including the European Research Council (ERC) grants.

For postgraduate students, the Centre also offers the elective ‘Regional Development and International Business: Europe and Asia’. Students study contrasting subnational initiatives used to promote regional economic development in the EU and Asian countries.

The Centre plays an important outreach role for the EU in the region. It hosts public lectures for visitors from academia, industry, business and government. In 2015, for example, Gorazd Žmavc – the Minister for Slovenians Abroad, was a special guest at the Centre where he formally launched the Slovenian Australia Academic Association.

The Centre also facilitates research conferences on current issues with various partners as illustrated by the current conference ‘Australian and Slovenian Current and Future Research Opportunities’.


Matthew Coote is a Special Project Officer at the EU Centre at RMIT University. This involves research and teaching roles along with social media data analysis and coordination. Matthew’s current research and teaching interests include social democracy in the Europe and Australia, EU Regional Policy and ‘Smart Specialisation’ for international business, and the role of social media in European politics. Matthew is also a former actor and comedian having previously performed on stage around Australia and in Europe.



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