The Federal Government will invest $37 million to develop a world first Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre (AFFRIC) at Deakin University.
The project will support:
• More than doubling of laboratory space from 1500 to 4000 sqm
• Three additional research groups
• 220-270 additional researchers
• 50 additional Australian and international research collaborations
• The co-location of 86 CSIRO researchers; and
• 120 onsite jobs during the construction period.
The new centre will draw together Australia’s world-class expertise in fibre science and materials technologies, and position Australia as an international hub for new materials industries.
Carbon fibre is a defining material for 21st century manufacturing with applications for the textile, automotive and aviation industries.
It is used in products like cars, planes, wind energy machinery, offshore oil and gas facilities, pressure vessels and protective apparel.
There are currently 950 firms manufacturing carbon fibre composites in Australia. The value of domestic production is estimated to be $3 billion a year.
The centre will involve four research platforms:
• Carbon Fibre Manufacture and Materials Technology
• Nano-Fibre Discovery - Characterization and Application
• Green Natural Fibres and
• Smart and Functional Fibrous Materials.
Construction is scheduled to begin in December this year and should be completed by September 2012.
The $102 million AFFRIC is also receiving funding support from Deakin University, CSIRO and the Victorian Centre for Advanced Material Manufacturing.
It will also have collaborative arrangements with regional and industry development organisations such as the City of Greater Geelong and the Technical Textiles and Nonwoven Association (TTNA).
The investment is part of Round 3 of the Education Investment Fund (EIF).
The Australian Government is investing $4 billion through the EIF in Australia’s tertiary education and research infrastructure.