Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

Australian Dairy Nutritionals’ bad news from the US

Infant formula manufacturer Australian Dairy Nutritionals has been informed by the US Food and Drug Administration that its application to sell its branded formula in the US has not been accepted. The FDA had previously given the green light to other brands from our region a2 Milk and Bubs Australia to export to the US to make up for supply shortages in that market. While ADN has missed out the FDA encouraged the group to apply for registration of its infant formula range ‘through the normal registration process’. However, ADH said it was advanced in its plant to launch its toddler milk products in the US in 2023.

Seaweed plastic startup raises cash

Green plastics manufacturer ULUU has raised $8 million from investors including Main Sequence Ventures, Alberts Impact Ventures, Mistletoe and Possible Ventures. The company is commercialising compostable polymers made from seaweed. The cash will be used on product development and engineering R&D.

Nina Nguyen named Brisbane’s Multicultural Entrepreneur of the Year

Nina Nguyen, founder and CEO of Australian cardboard manufacturing company Pakko, recently won the Multicultural Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Awards for Business. “This award is symbolic of our whole multicultural business community here in Brisbane,” said Nguyen, who founded her company in 2017. “As a business-owner of Vietnamese heritage, I hope to inspire and encourage new arrivals to seek out the opportunities we have in Brisbane and to follow their dreams.” The business owner accepted her Award at the Gala dinner hosted by Brisbane Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner on Friday at Brisbane City Hall. (You can read an @AuManufacturing interview with Nguyen from May here.)

UNSW researchers awarded more than $2.3m to build research infrastructure

UNSW Sydney received more than $2.3 million last week in Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grants for two projects led by researchers from UNSW Science and UNSW Medicine & Health. The LIEF scheme enables researchers to participate in cooperative initiatives so that expensive research infrastructure, equipment and facilities can be shared between higher education organisations and with industry. Scientia Professor Alexander Hamilton from UNSW Science received over $1.3 million to lead a project to create facilities for growing and characterising materials used in electronic, magnetic, and optical devices, while Associate Professor Kate Poole from UNSW Medicine & Health has led a successful bid for over $1 million, which will enable researchers to develop infrastructure using Australian-made bioprinting machinery to create miniature replicas of organs and tissues as well as access a new microscope to study the cells within these 3D structures.

New research hub aims to transform wastewater industry

The ARC Research Hub for Nutrients in a Circular Economy (NiCE), aiming to transform the wastewater industry “with a trailblazing, city-scale circular economy of nutrients”, was officially launched last week. Led by the University of Technology, Sydney, NiCE is commercialising nutrient recovery processing technologies by demonstrating uses of the liquid fertiliser produced from industrial and sewerage wastewater. The ARC awarded $2,062,428 in 2021 to the University of Technology Sydney — which works with works with seven partner universities and over 20 Industry partners — to establish the hub under the Industrial Transformation Research Program.

ResMed opens new manufacturing centre in Singapore

Last week ResMed celebrated the grand opening of its new Advanced Manufacturing Centre in Tuas, Singapore. The 270,000-square-foot (25,000-square-meter) facility more than doubles the company’s footprint in Singapore and “serves as ResMed’s key manufacturing hub in Asia-Pacific.” The facility will employ nearly 1,000 jobs and features smart dashboards to integrate real-time data to monitor the performance of production lines.  “Singapore’s strategic location and support for business investment, coupled with ResMed’s world-leading devices and digital health offerings, provides the perfect opportunity to expand our manufacturing capabilities while supporting local jobs and the region’s economy,” said ResMed CEO Mick Farrell.

Bluglass announces feasible reliability demonstration of novel laser diodes

Semiconductor developer BluGlass has announced that it has demonstrated feasible reliability of its gallium nitride (GaN) laser diodes, successfully demonstrating more than 500 hours of continuous operation with stable optical power and voltage in reliability testing. According to the company its lasers maintained good performance and light output during testing at 20 – 25 degrees celsius — demonstrating light output with less than 20 per cent degradation — which it said was a key commercial standard for laser diodes. Reliability feasibility is a critical milestone needed for beta production and product launches. Applications including medical and scientific applications require less than 1,000 hours’ reliability.

Image credit: Bluglass

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