Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed


Spoehr joins circular economy advisory group

Professor John Spoehr, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Impact) and Director of Flinders University’s Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, has joined the new Circular Economy Ministerial Advisory Group. Reporting to federal environment minister Tanya Plibersek, the advisory group will work with state and territory environment Ministers, industry leadership and the 15-member national advisory group to meet a series of targets. “As well as reducing waste, many of these initiatives will create homegrown industries and jobs to help rebuild Australia’s sovereign capability and reduce reliance on finite resources,” said Spoehr. “This ‘reindustrialisation’ and emergence of next-generation advanced manufacturing will in turn support research and development into other industries, which could focus on renewable green technologies, decarbonisation and zero net emission targets.”

Albanese and Marles visit Bushmaster production line

Thales Australia and New Zealand CEO Jeff Connolly has welcomed Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles and Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters to its Bendigo, Victoria manufacturing site (pictured). Bendigo is the home of Protected Vehicle Manufacturing in Australia, including the Thales Bushmaster, currently in service in Ukraine, and the Hawkei. According to the company: “The design, engineering and manufacturing capability at Thales Bendigo is a strategic national asset that has helped save the lives of Australian and Allied troops through the constant evolution of the Bushmaster design for over two decades.” Bushmaster saw distinguished service in Afghanistan in service for Australia and The Netherlands.

Husic launches consultation for National Battery Strategy

Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic has launched consultations for a National Battery Strategy that will build on Australian battery know-how and domestic access to critical minerals. Developing the strategy will be integral to help Australia transition to a decarbonised economy, Husic said. “Our general approach should be one where if we mine it here, we should make it here. It is important that we harness the opportunity to become a key player in battery manufacturing and export on the world stage.” He said bolstering Australia’s battery manufacturing capability presents an opportunity to integrate and diversify global battery supply chains. The annoucement of consultations during a visit to Energy Renaissance, an Australian lithium-ion battery technology and manufacturing company, at Tomago in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.

Q-Ctrl raises record Series B in new capital

Quantum computing technology company Q-Ctrlhas announced a $39 million (US$27.4 million) capital raise as an extension of its Series B funding which has now raised a total of $74 million, a new record for quantum software industry capital raises. New investors backing the Sydney company include Salesforce Ventures. Q-CTRL plans to use the funding to double down on its technology and product engineering, and invest in sales and marketing capacity. The company anticipates growing its team from 80 to approximately 120 in 2023 across offices in Sydney, Los Angeles and Berlin. Q-CTRL has over 8,000 users across its product portfolio.

New CEO for Trade and Investment Queensland

Trade and Investment Queensland has announced the appointment of Justin McGowan as its new CEO. McGown joins from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), where he worked for 14 years. McGowan has held senior executive roles within DFAT and was described by the Queensland government as an accomplished diplomat. Most recently, he led the Capability Taskforce driving Australia’s foreign and trade capabilities to meet future challenges and deliver economic potential. He was previously Australia’s Commissioner General to the World Expo in Dubai for four years (2017 to 2021), facilitating engagement opportunities for government representatives, business councils, investors and entrepreneurs across most markets and sectors.

Array Technologies to set up in Australia

NASDAQ-listed solar tracker provider Array Technologies will begin manufacturing in Australia after being selected to supply Pacific Partnerships’ 130 megawatt Glenrowan solar farm in Victoria. According to a report in Renew Economy, Array had not named the site of the upcoming factory, which will initially support Glenrowan, and then other new solar projects in Australia. “We recognise the need to transition to a clean energy future and producing locally sourced components is an important step in that transition,” Array Technologies CEO Kevin Hostetler said. “Along with the environmental benefits, this decision will help us meet the growing demand for renewable energy utilities, expedite project schedules, and have long-lasting economic benefits for Australia.”

Picture: Energy Renaissance

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