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Carbon Nexus achievements in first year

14 July 2015

In its first year of operation, Deakin University’s unique Carbon Nexus research centre has attracted industrial partners from nine countries, produced 75 batches of carbon fibre for research trials, received nine local and national research excellence awards and gained several significant grants.

Recently announced grants include a $4.7 million Australian Research Council (ARC) grant for a Future Fibres Industrial Transformation Research Hub (ITRH) to develop advanced carbon fibres and nanofibres to support more sustainable and advanced manufacturing, as well as $1.76 million from the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund for Carbon Nexus and Quickstep to establish a dedicated automotive division to be located at Deakin University.

Carbon Nexus Director Derek Buckmaster said the ARC grant was an example of government and industry "confidence in Carbon Nexus’ capacity to lead the way on the path to creating the world’s best carbon fibre and to driving the jobs of the future”.

Mr Buckmaster, who has just returned from a visit to the United States where he participated in the inaugural meeting of the Institute of Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), said the global manufacturing industry was growing increasingly excited about the future capabilities of carbon fibre and that Carbon Nexus was playing a key role in its advancement.

“There are so many reasons to be excited about the future of advanced manufacturing through the development of better, lighter, stronger and more cost-effective carbon fibre,” he said.

“Carbon Nexus is well on the way to developing the most cost-effective PAN (polyacrylonitrile) based carbon fibre targeted for specific applications. This brings us one step closer to one of our main aims – reducing the cost of industrial-grade carbon fibre materials.

“Our carbon fibre production line is embedded within Deakin University, enabling innovative research outcomes and already working with industry on projects that are helping to drive the jobs of the future.

"Building a new industry takes commitment, an unwavering focus on innovation and strong partnerships between academia and industry – and that is what goes to the heart of Carbon Nexus.”

Research Director Professor Bronwyn Fox agreed. “Seven years ago we imagined Carbon Nexus to be a world-leading carbon fibre research institute, attracting future industries to research and invest in Geelong, and now this vision is becoming a reality,” she said.


Carbon Nexus by the numbers
• Agreements with 11 industry partners from nine countries including the United States, South Korea, Russia, China, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Thailand.
• The production of 75 different batches of carbon fibre for research trials – this equates to approximately five tonnes of material and 2,250 bobbins.
• Processing of 18 different types of precursor materials, including PAN (polyacrylonitrile), cellulose, lignin and RAFT-polymerised precursor, from a range of research collaborators and industrial partners.
• Nine local and national research excellence awards, including the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) Gold Medal to Nisa Salim and the Smart Geelong Researcher of the Year award to Professor Bronwyn Fox.
• An Australian Research Council (ARC) $4.7 million grant for the new Future Fibres Industrial Transformation Research Hub to develop advanced carbon fibres and nanofibres to support more sustainable and advanced manufacturing.
• An ARC Discovery Grant of $345,500, for Carbon Nexus Research Director Professor Bronwyn Fox to investigate the use of spinifex grasses in carbon fibre production, in conjunction with the University of Queensland.

Issued:
14/07/2015

Media Contact Details::
Katie Thompson
Media Coordinator, Deakin University
P: +61 3 9244 5256
M: +61 418 839 638
E: katie.thompson(at)deakin.edu.au