Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed


Queensland’s ARM Hub turns three years old

Queensland’s Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM Hub) is celebrating its third anniversary this week with celebrations including cake and a string quartet. Assistant Minister from Manufacturing Senator Tim Ayres will highlight the government’s $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund, while Linda Dobe, a/Deputy Director in Manufacturing, Queensland state government, will share a vision for Queensland. Their visits follow a visit to the ARM Hub last week by Industry Minister Ed Husic. Hub CEO Cori Stewart said: “It is terrific to see the momentum and commitments being made to scale our country’s manufacturing and robotics.” This will be followed by a roundtable on what it would take for Australia to be a global hub for manufacturing and robotics, led by ARM Hub Chairman Professor Roy Green. A panel includes Michelle Richards, Translational Research Institute Australia, Shay Chalmers, CEO Graham Lusty Trailers, Jonathan Roberts, Queensland University of Technology, and Matthew Tobin of Urban Art Projects.

DroneShield’s $2.2m drone countermeasure orders

Drone detection and countermeasure manufacturer DroneShield has received two orders totalling approximately $2.2 million for a number of its handheld systems, including the recently launched DroneGun Mk4 portable drone countermeasure product. The orders were received from U.S. DoD and another U.S. Federal Government agency. Payments for both orders are expected in 3Q23, following delivery. The full order includes an upfront product purchase and SaaS elements. DroneShield’s U.S. CEO Matt McCrann said: “As the C-UAS market continues to rapidly grow, fuelled by use of drones in Ukraine and evolution of drone technology in warfare, DroneShield is seeing record demand for its solutions.”

EMVision achieves product development milestones and grant funding

Portable brain imaging technology company EMVision Medical Devices will release its upgraded Gen 1 devices in coming weeks as part of multi-site clinical trials. The upgrade saw the introduction of new consumables, a back up power source and an updated user interface. The devices, aimed initially for bedside use and ultimately for first responders, are easy to deploy and operate by any trained healthcare professional. Other developments have also been achieved including CAD design of an ultra-light helmet system and miniaturised component prototyping. These were a milestone in its development programme funded by the Medical Research Future Fund and the Australian Stroke Alliance, triggering a $600,000 milestone grant payment.

SciDev grows footprint in water treatment

Wastewater treatment technology company SciDev continues to grow its footprint in water technologies and chemicals, reporting Q3 underlying EBITDA of $1.7 million on revenue up 60 per cent on the previous corresponding period to $21 million. Year to date EBITDA was $4.2 million on revenue of $70.7 million. During the quarter Eagleford Shale began using SciDev’s proprietary emulsion technologies, several per-and poly-fluoroalkyl (PFAS) contaminated sited were remediated and a new three year contract was executed with mineral sands producer Iluka Resources with an expected value of $14 million. the company was also awarded contracts for the design and construction of two drinking water plants for the Queensland government.

SEA Electric’s new Asia Pacific Region President

Electric vehicle drive train manufacturer SEA Electric has welcomed Daniel Scarpino de Castro to the position of President, Asia Pacific Region. De Castro came to SEA Electric with a wealth of executive-level experience to his credit, following roles within the automotive industry, including bus and coach manufacturing, transport electrification, and zero emissions solutions. Having previously worked within Oceania, Southeast Asia, South America and the USA, de Castro joins SEA Electric from the position of President of Irizar USA, a multifaceted company focused on passenger transport and electromobility. He was also on the Board of Directors for Irizar Asia Pacific (Australia) since 2013, and he has earned an MBA from the Melbourne Business School.

AgriFutures to be held in Perth in 2024

Western Australia’s agriculture and food minister Jackie Jarvis announced on Tuesday that the agrifood tech event AgriFutures evokeAG will be held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on February 20 and 21 next year. The conference will farmers, processors, accelerators, start-ups, researchers, universities, corporates, government and investors from around the world. evokeAG will partner with the state government “to connect national and international representatives, and to showcase innovation” according to the statement. The event began in 2019 and was most recently held in Adelaide, attracting over 1,600 delegates from 20 countries. “Western Australia’s strong connection with Asia and our excellent universities means we are well placed to become a hub for agrifood innovation and investment into the future,” said Jarvis.

ATSE calls for focus on rapid decarbonisation and bolstering Australian innovation

In a submission on Australia’s National Science and Research Priorities, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) has called for a laser focus on decarbonising high-emitting sectors and building Australia into a nation of technology innovators, not just users. ATSE said there was a need for a mission-focused approach, applying science to the most pressing challenges, such as bringing carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, providing healthcare for an ageing population, and restoring sovereign capability and supply chain resilience. ATSE President Dr Katherine Woodthorpe said, “The National Science and Research Priorities are a golden opportunity to transform Australian-made manufacturing including medical manufacturing, clean energy, electric transportation industries and additive manufacturing as part of a circular economy – to serve our national needs, global export opportunities and environmental sustainability. A win-win-win. The main challenges for science and research in energy in Australia are to develop lower-carbon, lower-emissions, safe and reliable electricity, and fuels.”

Southern Launch partners with the Koonibba community to develop spaceport

Southern Launch has announced that it and the Koonibba community will begin work on “permanent world-class space facilities” after the federal government awarded almost $4.5 million in funding to the Koonibba Community Aboriginal Corporation. Southern Launch CEO Lloyd Damp said the funding would enable the two parties to cooperate to develop space facilities “that secure a high-tech future for the community. The Koonibba Test Range brings a global industry to South Australia’s doorstep and we’re excited
about the opportunities this will bring to the community through employment, investment and inspiration.” The test range is jointly operated by the pair, is one of the largest commercial rocket testing facilities in the world, and is Australia’s first licensed space launch facility. Koonibba Community Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Corey McLennan said, “We are looking forward to what this next chapter will bring and excited to inspire our community with the world of opportunities available to them when space is right on our doorstep.”

Picture: members of the Koonibba Community (supplied)

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