Analysis and Commentary

ARM Hub and Vaulta’s ideas combine in innovation hub

Analysis and Commentary

By Peter Roberts

Queensland’s ARM Hub is supporting a local start-up to build a smart lithium battery for Australian homes, at the same time demonstrating its unusual-for-Australia innovation model.

The batteries have a special casing that enables them to be repaired remotely, and the company, Vaulta, is scaling their pilot assembly plant at the ARM Hub.

Vaulta is a Brisbane-based start-up tenanted at the ARM Hub Learning Factory with Vaulta focused on the battery case, which Vaulta CEO Dominic Spooner said has remained the same over time.

Spooner’s company is developing battery bases with fewer parts, removing unwanted size and weight that affects the battery performance.

Using advanced composite materials and a smart, streamlined design, Vaulta at the ARM Hub is developing manufacturing methods for its battery casing that condenses multiple functions into fewer parts, meaning easier assembly and disassembly.

The unique part of the story is that while Australia has experimented for decades in how to intimately involve industry and public sector research, it has conspicuously failed to develop a viable operating model.

Nothing we have tried quite approaches – not industry growth centres nor Cooperative Research Centres – the success of UK’s Catapult centres and German Fraunhofer institutes.

The unique element of both is they are not just funding bodies like industry growth centres, and they are not generally academically driven as with CRCs.

They are industry centres run by industry that tackle problems brought to them by industry.

Crucially they have their own equipment and laboratories, and highly capable staff, allowing companies to conduct trials, and get advice, that they could not get working by themselves or in an academic environment.

Australia has a small number of these nascent catapult style centres which have evolved through no deliberate policy of governments. Examples are the Flinders University/BAE Systems Australia Factory of the Future in Adelaide, and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation in Sydney.

ARM Hub is another.

Further reading:
Browse @AuManufacturing’s coverage of Vaulta here.
Government not giving up on industry growth centres just yet – Husic
The next step for industry growth centres – by Paul Hodgson

Picture: Vaulta staff at ARM Hub

Share this Story
Analysis and Commentary

Stay Informed

Go to Top