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Carbon Fibre Collaborative Network

20 September 2012

The Victorian Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business, the Hon. Louise Asher, MP, recently awarded funds of $300,000 to Composites Australia to form a collaborative network to facilitate strategic partnerships for the commercialisation and adoption of advanced materials, particularly carbon fibre technology by Victorian manufacturing firms.

The facilitation will be performed by Ms Kerryn Caulfield of Apical International Pty Ltd.

Exceptionally strong and light, carbon fibre is said to be a defining material for 21st century manufacturing with the market for carbon fibre composites expected to grow significantly over the next several years, especially in key markets such as automotive; wind energy, marine; oil and gas and; infrastructure. There are also various industrial applications. It is heralded as defining the “new industrial landscape”.

Composites Australia Chair, Ms Genelle Coghlan says: “Given that carbon fibre composite technology offers significant opportunities for composite fabricators to branch into higher value added componentry in new markets, Composites Australia is committed to furthering the industry’s capabilities in advanced materials and the development of technical standards and guidelines.”

The funding will be used to engage a Network Manager who will diffuse and disseminate the outputs from research and development in and around carbon fibre technology to help businesses identify, develop and exploit new commercial applications of carbon fibres and composites.

A suite of industry knowledge forums will be delivered. Learning materials and guidelines for safe working habits – all vital for the adaption of carbon fibre technology – will be developed to nurture this technology.

The Carbon Fibre Collaborative Network will work closely with a number of research, development and innovation agencies, notably with the Carbon Nexus research facility at Deakin University in Geelong (Victoria).  This Australian Carbon Fibre Research Facility is a partnership between Deakin, CSIRO and the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing (VCAMM).

The network will also work with an impressive legacy of carbon fibre research in Victorian RDI agencies, including the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures, RMIT and Monash Universities.

Ms Coghlan says: ” We’re grateful for the Victorian government support for the composites industry which is generous and visionary.”