Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

Bosch to start “new chapter” for startups at Clayton site

Gavin Smith, the President of Robert Bosch (Australia), has shared news of the opening of a co-working space at the company. “For the last 10years we have enjoyed working closely with startups and scaleups in many different ways,” Smith posted on Monday morning on Linkedin. The company had applied engineering expertise, advanced product validation and testing facilities, as well as “manufacturing automation know how and low volume production services” to such companies, he added. Startups to partner with Bosch (through its Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions division) have included waste-to-wood machinery maker 3RT, flexible sensor business Sleeptite and biometric information company Bodd. “…[T]oday we start a new chapter with the opening of a co-working space at our Clayton campus ready for the first early stage firm to move in this week. More to follow…” hinted Smith.

Cake and pastry market update provided

Fresh market data has been published by IBISWorld for the cake and pastry sector in Australia. According to the market research firm, industry revenue has declined at a CAGR of 0.7 per cent “over the past five years, to reach an estimated $2.0bn in 2024.” Challenges cited include competition from instore bakeries, as well as “shifts in consumers’ diets and lifestyles”, though the sector is “projected to increase over the next five years”. The $2 billion industry, which employs a little under 7,000, has a market concentration described as moderate, and most cake and pastry manufacturers are SMEs. The top four companies generate between 40 per cent and 70 per cent of industry revenue, and the top three companies are given as Patties Foods $518 million in revenues), followed by Mrs Mac’s ($112.8 million) and Allied Pinnacle ($87.2 million.)

Medical research institutes invited to apply for NSW government support

The NSW Government is launching a $160 million medical research program, it announced on Monday, “as it searches for the next big health breakthrough.” The Medical Research Support Program (MRSP) is heading into its fourth round, and “aims to support excellence in health and medical research by funding the indirect costs of research, such as equipment and support staff.” Applications for the program, administered by the Office of Health and Medical Research, opened on Monday. Previous recipients include the Black Dog Institute, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, and the Woolcock Institute, and funding from previous rounds “has significantly contributed to NSW’s world-leading research achievements”, the NSW government said. Application guidelines and program details can be found at this link.

End Food Waste Australia supports accelerated nation-wide food waste action

End Food Waste Australia has said it welcomes recommendations for accelerated nation-wide food waste action in the report by the Senate Select Committee on Supermarket Prices, including date-labelling reform, product specification review and more transparent food waste reporting.  EFWW describes itself as the lead agency coordinating Australia’s response to the goal of halving food waste by 2030 and the delivery of Australia’s National Food Waste Strategy. CEO Dr Steven Lapidge says the senate inquiry into grocery prices identified that business practices can have an impact on food waste in the upstream supply chain. “Food waste costs Australia $36.6 billion a year. Annually 7.6 million tonnes of food is wasted – the equivalent of throwing away 29 million meals a day, enough to provide lunch to every Australian on a daily basis,” said Lapidge. “Food date labels and product storage advice can be confusing, inconsistent and contribute to food waste with our research finding only 51% of Australian households understand the meaning of both use by and best before dates.”

Geelong to invest in waste processing facilities

The City of Greater Geelong Council has said it is investing in major waste facility upgrades in preparation to introduce kerbside bin reforms to keep more household waste out of landfill. Its proposed 2024-25 Budget includes “significant funding to enable the introduction of Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) and glass kerbside collection services in the coming years” the council said on Monday, including $16.7 million for upgrades at existing waste facilities to enable food and garden waste to be processed together in large quantities. “This will enable a move to a FOGO service by 2027-28″ it said, adding” “The proposed budget also sets aside $8.6 million in 2026-27 for the purchase and rollout of purple-lid kerbside bins for glass, enabling the introduction of a glass only collection service.” Under legislation introduced by the state government, all Victorian councils are required to introduce FOGO by 2030 and glass only collection by 2027.

Australian Fashion Council hosts innovation and sustainability showcase

The Australian Fashion Council (AFC), with prime minister Anthony Albanese’s partner Jodie Haydon, has hosted an Australian fashion sustainability event attended by the country’s leading designers, industry allies and government officials. Epson Australia, AFC’s print and projection technology partner, sponsored the event at Kirribilli House, which featured three local innovations “pushing the industry’s environmental transition”. These included Australian Fashion Council FashTech Lab, which is assisting companies transition from physical sampling to digital sampling; Mud to Marle, the 2023 Country Road Climate Fund winner led by Full Circle Fibres, Deakin University and textile manufacturer Loomtex transforming low-value Australian wool and Australian cotton into a natural high-value yarn; and recycling technology company BlockTexx. Jaana Quaintance-James, CEO of the AFC, stated “A small snapshot of our industry’s huge potential was on display this evening. While we can never compete with labour costs overseas, we can gain a competitive edge globally by leveraging the raw fibres here in Australia and right shoring, with advanced technology.”

HEO seeks software hero

Non-Earth imaging and in-orbit satellite inspection specialist HEO is seeking a software engineer to join its team. According to the company, the role will be working in a small team of three or four software developers, interfacing “with R&D and DevOps” and “building out our software platform that delivers high quality, actionable intelligence on objects in orbit (yes, space!)” Prior space industry experience is not essential, “but it’d help help if you get excited about space and the endless technology challenges and opportunities it offers.” More information is available here.

Hexagon to examine ammonia-powered ship opportunity for WAH2

Ammonia hopeful Hexagon Energy Materials has announced a signed Memorandum of Understanding with Oceania Marine Energy on the potential development of a low-emissions ammonia bunkering business in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. The primary market for the proposed WAH2 project at Dampier remained substitution of coal in power generation in Japan and South Korea, said Hexagon on Monday, but ammonia bunkering might be “a valuable, additional, domestic market”. It would involve supply as fuel for bulk carriers shipping iron ore to customers across Asia. Hexagon said that under the MOU it and Oceania have committed to work together on demonstrating feasibility, confirming demand for ammonia bunkering, defining an appropriate development plan, and engaging with government and other stakeholders.

Picture: credit Trif Visuals/Bosch Australia

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