Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

MBCRC announces new Research Director

The Marine Bioproducts CRC (MBCRC) has announced the appointment of Dr Mike Patane as its new Research Director. According to MBCRC, Patane will be responsible for guiding and advancing the organisation’s research strategy and initiatives and driving innovation in the marine bioproducts industry, and brings a wealth of global experience in business development, commercial innovation, strategy, and technical leadership. “He is an excellent fit for the organisation and brings expertise that will undoubtedly strengthen our high-quality, collaborative and industry-focused research, aligned with MBCRC’s vision to make Australia a global significant player in the marine bioproducts industry,” said Dr Justin Coombs, CEO at MBCRC. Patane holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Western Sydney University and is equipped with over 20 years of involvement in developing and commercialising science for food, health, and nutrition ingredients, including creating over a dozen patented technologies that have been licensed in the global marketplace.

Australian Research Council CEO steps down

The CEO of the Australian Research Council, Judi Zielke, announced on Wednesday that she will be stepping down from the role due to a health issue. In a short statement from the ARC, it said that Zielke’s leadership it had established a clear pathway forward to continue to build and grow its ongoing role in improving Australia’s research landscape. “In particular, the increase in transparency and engagement has helped to build the relationship with the research sector and improved our outcomes,” it added. Zielke’s last day will be Friday, December 8, with Dr Richard Johnson to be Acting CEO until a permanent appointment is made.

SPEE3D appoints new chair

Metal additive manufacturing business SPEE3D announced the appointment of Adam Lewis as the Chairman of its Board of Directors on Wednesday, replacing Grant Anderson, who will be retiring. The company describes Lewis as having distinguished career, and is a former Senior Partner in Australia and New Zealand at McKinsey & Company, where he served clients worldwide with a focus on industrial and manufacturing engineering. “We are delighted to have Adam Lewis lead our Board of Directors,” said Byron Kennedy, CEO of SPEE3D. “With his extensive background in industrial manufacturing, Adam adds a valuable perspective that will enhance our capabilities and contribute tremendously to our success.” Lewis holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Curtin University and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. His career has included engineering roles at Randata, PKE Radio and TV broadcast technology, and the Centre for Supercomputer Applications. Lewis said: “I am looking forward to collaborating with fellow board members and contributing to the strategic direction and success of a company that I deeply admire.”

DISP application process modernised by new portal: Defence

Defence has said it is modernising the Defence Industry Security Program membership application process for businesses with a new online application portal. The Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) is a membership-based program that helps companies establish and maintain security standards necessary for engaging with the department of defence and its supply chain. According to a statement on Wednesday, the new portal, applicants can now complete and lodge applications and supporting documentation online, “providing an improved user experience and streamlined application processing.” Chief Security Officer for Defence, Peter West said, “Defence Industry Security is critical to protecting and advancing Australia’s Defence capability, and Defence will continue to evolve the DISP Members Portal to provide better support and protective security services to DISP members,” More information is available here.

ELA hires new comms lead

Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA) announced the appointment of Amanda Hudswell as its new Head of Marketing Communications and Public Affairs on Tuesday. According to the company, the appointment comes as ELA moves “to strengthen its position as the global pre-eminent multi-user commercial spaceport”, and it prepares for redevelopment of the Arnhem Space Centre (ASC) – a nationally and internationally significant space infrastructure project – in the Northern Territory, Australia. Hudswell will lead strategic marketing, communications, public affairs and brand development, “focussed on both raising awareness of the advantages and advanced technology offered by ELA, and the commercial and economic benefits of launching from the ASC.” She will also lead campaigns to support ELA’s growth in the international commercial space market.

Swinburne to host Space Technology and Industry Institute (STII) Industry Day

Swinburne University of Technology will host the Space Technology and Industry Institute (STII) Industry Day at its Hawthorn campus on Friday. According to the university, the event will provide “an opportunity to speak with Swinburne’s leading space researchers, students and industry partners and be the first to hear about what’s next for Australia’s burgeoning space industry.” A keynote presentation will be given at 10.00am from Laura Drake, Senior Manufacturing Engineer at Gilmour Space Technology. Drake is described as a specialist in additive manufacturing, with expertise driving innovation and efficiency in aerospace component production. Registration and other info about the event can be seen here.

New Victoria-France partnership announced

A new partnership with France will boost the state’s economic relationship with a key European partner, according to the Victorian Government. Treasurer Tim Pallas announced the signing of a Letter of Intent between Victoria and France “to foster stronger trade and investment ties across a range of sectors” on Wednesday. The signing took place at the launch of the French-Australian Centre for Energy Transition, hosted by Swinburne University of Technology. Two-way merchandise trade between France  and Victoria was valued at $2.1 billion in 2022-23. French Ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thébault said in a statement that, “The Letter of Intent, which is the first of its kind between France and an Australian state or territory, provides an ambitious framework for co-operation between France and Victoria.”

Australian Clean Economy Skills Symposium to be held in Sydney

Sydney has been selected to host the 2024 Australian Clean Economy Skills Symposium, organised by the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent skills training, higher education, and international education providers. “The symposium’s primary focus is to identify how the skill requirements of businesses will evolve and how this transformation will generate demand for courses within the tertiary education sector,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive. According to ITECA, attendees will receive comprehensive briefings on the workforce needed to support the clean economy, including a spotlight on what’s necessary to bolster the growth of clean energy technologies and industries nationwide. The symposium will be held on July 25. 2024 at the Mercure Sydney. More information can be found here.

CSIRO/TERI/CSIR-NEERI release roadmap on plastic waste 

A new circular economy roadmap led by CSIRO — in collaboration with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI), Development Alternatives, the University of New South Wales, and the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures — provides a roadmap to address plastic waste in India. According to a statement from Australia’s lead scientific agency, only 8 per cent of plastic in India gets recycled with the rest either mismanaged, incinerated, or dumped. “The findings in the roadmap indicate that by 2035, two thirds of all plastics used could be recycled, and single-use plastics could be phased out, resulting in a significant reduction of waste ending up in landfill and the environment,” said Heinz Schandl, CSIRO’s Circular Economy for Missions initiative lead. “The roadmap also shows that diverting plastic waste into resources would lead to a cleaner environment, with 20-50 per cent less greenhouse emissions, and improved air quality.” The report can be read here.

Australian government commits to increase use of timber in buildings

At COP28 in Dubai the Australian Government and 16 other countries committed to increase the use of timber in the built environment by 2030. The Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership Coalition on Greening Construction with Sustainable Wood made the announcement on Thursday morning. Welcoming the news, Natasa Sikman, Acting CEO of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) said in a statement that, “This is an important step in the right direction by the Australian Government to build confidence in the timber construction market. We look forward to continuing our work with the Government on developing enabling policies which will turbo charge a greater use of wood in the built environment.”

STA farewells Professor Mark Hutchinson 

Science & Technology Australia has announced its gratitude to Professor Mark Hutchinson for his “remarkable leadership and legacy” as President of STA, a role he concluded last week. STA said in a statement that it secured a long list of major policy wins and doubled membership, “solidifying the organisation as the leading voice for the science and technology community in Australia.” New President Professor Sharath Sriram, who will serve until the 2025 AGM, said, “Under his deeply influential leadership, STA’s advocacy has forged transformative changes to our research and commercialisation ecosystem and been a catalyst for change for the country.” Hutchinson continues to play a crucial role at STA as Co-Chair of STA’s Bench to Boardroom initiative alongside Jas Chambers, bringing his own experience as an entrepreneur and neuroscientist leading a team of 200 scientists who have created 16 startups.  

Picture: Adam Lewis and Byron Kennedy of SPEE3D (supplied)


Share this Story

Stay Informed

Go to Top