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Boeing Australia delivers last 747 parts

Boeing Australia’s Melbourne factory has delivered its last component manufactured locally for the Boeing 747 aircraft (pictured). Boeing has produced its last 747 which brings to an end decades of involvement by Australians in the programme. More than 55,000 Melbourne made parts have been delivered to the company’s Everett, Washington plant over 38 years. Boeing in Melbourne is one of few company production facilities outside the United States, with the factory having a major role in producing composite parts for the 787 aircraft.

ASM firms up source for rare earths production

Australian Strategic Materials has signed a non-binding agreement with the Chungcheongbuk Province in Korea and the Vietnam Rare Earth Company (VTRE) to source rare earths ores from Vietnam. The ores, which will supply ASM’s Korean metals production plant, fill a gap in ore supplies until the company’s Dubbo rare earths project in New South Wales begins production. Under the terms of the agreement VTRE and ASM subsidiary KSM Metals Co., Ltd have agreed to use reasonable endeavours to agree on the long-term supply of rare earth oxides from VTRE to KSMM with a value of approximately 50 million USD in total over five years commencing in 2023.

Melt Ventures to launch Australia’s first Advanced Manufacturing Seed Fund

Melt Ventures has announced a $20 million capital raise for Australia’s First Advanced Manufacturing Seed Fund which will invest in Australian hardware companies in the Cleantech, Industrial IoT and Advanced Manufacturing sectors. CEO Trent Bagnall said: “We want to support early-stage Aussie companies that are building things.” The Fund aims to build on Australia’s strengths in engineering, energy, mining, defence, health and logistics. Bagnall said: “The Fund is the next extension on our 100+ startup investments to date under the Slingshot and The Melt funds including 100X returns in Camplify and Gamurs and averaging returns of 4.9X since 2013.”

Thales uses BlueCats’ Bluetooth to prepare its Sydney dry dock

Defence contractor Thales Australia’s Above Water Systems business is trialling a Bluetooth/GPS based asset location tracking technology, developed by Australian SME, BlueCats. The Real Time Location System (RTLS) technology enables Thales’ work teams at Garden Island Defence Precinct (GIDP) in Sydney to ‘tag’ a piece of equipment and remotely track its location at all times. When preparing for the arrival of a naval ship or commercial vessel, the Thales Dock Operations and Reticulation Services (DORSC) team undertake a variety of activities which require hundreds of pieces of equipment to enable safe and successful dockings. To enhance asset tracking, utilisation and accountability, therefore reducing cost, saving time and improving efficiency, the team worked with BlueCats to apply its unique technology to the challenging environment of a naval dockyard. Not only does the RTLS assist the DORSC team in preparing the Captain Cook Graving Dock (CCGD) to receive a naval vessel but also in providing maintenance and support services once it has docked.

Synchron raises $75 million Series C investment

Brain implant company Synchron has announced that it raised $75 million ib Series C financing round for its brain-computer interface (BCI) technology. Bill Gates Frontier and Jeff Bezos Expeditions participated in the round. Founded in Australia but now US-based, Synchron is developing its Stentrode BCI implant which may one day help patients unable to communicate their thoughts because of disease or accident trauma to do so. The new funding brings Synchron’s total fundraising to $145 million.

Picture: Boeing Australia

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