A metals research centre which helped a local business secure an estimated $1 billion in contracts to help build a world-class fighter jet is one of two Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) to be recognised with prestigious awards.
The CAST CRC – which conducts industry-driven research in metals technology – received the STAR Award at the CRC Association Awards for Excellence in Innovation Gala Dinner held in Alice Springs.
The CRC was recognised for its ability to commercialise innovative technology by working with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the metals sector.
It was praised for its 10-year collaboration with Brisbane-based Ferra Engineering, most recently in developing light metals for aerospace industry use, that has led to the company winning seven contracts for the Joint Strike Fighter program.
The contracts, for the supply of high-precision metal products, will support high-wage, high-skill jobs over the project’s life.
The second STAR award went to an environmental research centre that helped develop a way to clean water contaminated through fire fighting.
The CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) was awarded for global scientific leadership in developing and applying a product that cleans water contaminated by fire fighting foam.
The CRC worked with Soil and Groundwater Consulting, an SME based in Melbourne and Adelaide, to develop MatCARE, which could potentially be used around the world, including at 49,000 airports.
“What we have here are two more fine examples of innovative and practical results being produced by Australia’s globally unique CRC program – a great legacy of the Hawke Government,” said Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr.
“Our innovative CRCs are transforming Australia. The research they undertake continues to play a key role in fuelling Australia’s economic prosperity and social wellbeing,” said the Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, who represented Senator Carr at the ceremony.
Other awards included the Cooperative Research Centres Association Awards for Excellence in Innovation and the CSIRO Early Career Scientist Awards.