Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

Universal Biosensors receives R&D tax incentive rebate

Diagnostic test systems manufacturer Universal Biosensors has announced the receipt of $3.9 million in cash as a federal government R&D tax incentive rebate for the 2021 financial year. The company has been widening the capabilities of its flagship Sentia test system for winemaking which is used by winemakers to control the winemaking process. Most recently the company assed a test for Malic Acid, one of main acids produced during the winemaking process. Under the federal programme, companies receive tax refunds of 43.5 percent of eligible expenditure on R&D. Following the rebate Universal Biosensors cash balance is $29.2 million.

Queensland food and fibre grants available

The Queensland government is offering grants up $50,000 to $100,000 under the new Food and Fibre to Market – Industry Partnerships (FF2M) Program. The matched funding is available to membership-based industry organisations, or individual agribusinesses acting on behalf of a team to develop innovative supply chain projects. Agricultural industry minister Mark Furner said, “initiatives such as the FF2M program are vital to developing more productive, sustainable, transparent and resilient supply chains to international markets, particularly our Asian neighbours. Five of Queensland’s six leading export markets are in Asia… Projects should also aim to improve the export capability of Queensland farmers, fishers, growers and their supply chain partners and contribute to broader industry development.” Expressions of interest are open and close on February 10, 2023. Guidelines are available at this link.

RED Grants awarded to Kimberley businesses

Five Kimberley projects have been awarded in $673,473 Regional Economic Development (RED) Grant funding from the Western Australian government. Generators & Off-Grid Energy Pty Ltd will receive $176,000 to establish operations in the East Kimberley, employ eight employees and provide training for electricians to provide alternative, ‘whole system’ energy solutions for residents and businesses in the region. Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation will use the $82,473 to build a tissue culture laboratory, and processing, packing and storage facility for their gubinge plantation. Indigenous-owned business Walaja Raw Bush Honey will receive $90,000 to construct a purpose-built facility in Broome to expand commercial honey production. The Carbonating the Kimberley project will receive $200,000 to construct the region’s first and only beverage manufacturing facility at the Hoochery Distillery, focussing on mid and zero strength alcohol products. The Kimberley Arts Network was also awarded $75,000 to repurpose an art space in Broome.

Pierlite wins two innovation awards for air purifying LED light fitting

Pierlite, owned by Signify, has announced its Aether LED UVC Luminaire has won two product innovation awards. The Lighting Council of Australia’s National Awards for Excellence in Lighting recognised the company with a Smart Lighting / IoT award in October, in recognition for their work in designing, developing and commercialising Aether. This month the IES Lighting Society Queensland Chapter gave the Lighting Innovation Award of Excellence to Pierlite, also for the Aether. According to Pierlite, over 100 businesses across Australia and New Zealand have adopted the products to keep indoor spaces safe from harmful pathogens, including hospitals, schools, fitness facilities, and many small businesses. Launched in early 2022, the Aether LED UVC Troffer is a novel air purifying luminaire that can inactivate and remove 99.995 per cent of harmful pathogens from the air.

Australian Steel Institute holds industry awards

The new Allianz Stadium in Sydney took out Australia’s most innovative steel design for large projects at the biennial Australian Steel Institute (ASI) Australian Steel Excellence Awards. There were 26 state and territory winners (from an initial field of 85) vying for national honours in six categories. Besides Allianz, Memorial Drive Tennis Centre’s sunken show court roof was named the Buildings (Small Projects) category winner, the Gratton Street façade was named the Innovative Cold Form Steel Building category winner, CSIRO Clean Lab was named the Steel-Clad Structures winner, Sky Bridge project at 308 Exhibition St won in Engineering Projects, and Central Railway Station’s northern concourse roof was awarded a Special Judges Commendation in Engineering. Aurecon’s Shannon Kieran, a structural engineer from the NT, was named the Young Designer/Detailer/ Tradesperson winner.

Building 4.0 CRC PhD scholarships open

The Building 4.0 CRC has announced that its third round of PhD scholarships is now open, offering “a unique opportunity to work within a leading initiative aiming to transform the building and construction industry.” PhD research proposals must align with CRC objectives, including Industrialisation; Digitalisation; People, Places & Culture; and Sustainability. Successful applicants will be matched with the CRC’s projects, or with industry partners. The closing date for applications is March 13, 2023, and more information can be found at this link.

Picture: Building 4.0 Round 1 & 2 Scholarship students on recent trip to Holmesglen Tunnelling Facility (supplied)

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