Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

Incat in talks to build electric fast ferry

Shipbuilder Incat Tasmania has announced a new partnership with European shipping company BrittanyFerries and technology company Wärtsilä to explore design and technical requirements for a 137-metre zero emission ferry. According to a statement on social media: “Incat has a long-standing and successful relationship with both companies. This collaboration marks a significant step towards a greener future for maritime transport, reinforcing Incat’s commitment to innovation and environmental sustainability.” Incat is already building a 148 metre long electric catamaran ‘utility Ro-Pax’ ferry for Argentine company Buquebus.

South Australia extends medical device partnering program

The South Australian government is investing a further $900,000 to support the continuation of the Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) which helps get research ideas commercialised. An initiative of Flinders University’s Medical Device Research Institute, the MDPP fosters collaboration between researchers, industry and end-users to create medical technologies where there is both identified clinical need and viable market opportunity. Funding – delivered through our Department’s Research and Innovation Fund and matched by more than $1.7 million from Flinders University, research and industry partners – will allow the MDPP to retain its team of medical device and technology experts. Professor Karen Reynolds, Director, Medical Device Research Institute said that the investment gives further momentum to the MDPP ‘which has proven success in fast-tracking the development of medical products by providing resources, leveraging knowledge and encouraging collaboration between stakeholders in the innovation process. It has been incredibly rewarding to see products developed by MDPP reaching the market and delivering economic and health benefit to South Australia.”

Dr Iain Ross announced as acting Chair of Net Zero Economy Agency

Dr Iain Ross AO has been appointed as the acting Chair of the Net Zero Economy Agency, replacing outgoing Chair Greg Combet. Dr Ross will take up the position on 1 June 2024, with the government to appoint Dr Ross as the authority once legislation to establish the authority passes the Parliament. The government extended its gratitude to Combet in a statement for his leadership and commitment in setting up the Net Zero Economy Agency. Dr Ross has served as a former President of the Fair Work Commission and as a Judge of the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Gilmour Space rocket launch delayed seeking approvals

The launch of Gilmour Space Technologies Eris rocket from Queensland continues to be put off while the companies complete the approvals process. The company has prepared for an April launch however is waiting for approval for the launch of the largest ever Australian made rocket from the Australian Space Agency. The Eris orbital launch vehicles will deliver up to 305 kg to low Earth orbit, with two commercial flights to follow the initial launch.

Smartline Medical seeks engineer

Sunshine Coast-based hospital sterilisation product maker Smartline Medical is seeking a mechatronics or software engineer to join its team. The position is across the company’s production and R&D operations and required experience includes three years of software development, a degree in computer science or a relevant engineering discipline, the ability to work autonomously within an R&D team, strong problem-solving skills for troubleshooting and debugging software issues. Experience with MRP/ERP systems is preferred. More on the role can be seen here.

Katherine Bennell-Pegg to headline i-SAIRAS 2024

The first qualified astronaut under the Australian flag, Katherine Bennell-Pegg, will headline a major space symposium in Brisbane on November 19-21, the International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space (i-SAIRAS.) The event will convene agencies, researchers, and industry professionals engaged in advancing the science and technology of robotics, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to shape the future of space. Bennell-Pegg completed her training with the European Space Agency in Germany this year and will soon return to work at the Australian Space Agency. “i-SAIRAS coming to our shores will provide an opportunity to strengthen our international partnerships and learn from each other as we develop technologies that enable research in space and enhance life on Earth,” she said in a statement this week.

Contract awarded to build RNA research and pilot manufacturing facility

Hindmarsh Construction has been named as the main works contractor on the nation’s first-of-its-kind RNA Research and Pilot Manufacturing Facility at Macquarie University. The project is being delivered by Health Infrastructure on behalf of the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, and aims to reduce Australia’s reliance on international supply and provide patients with faster access to new therapies for hard-to-treat diseases such as cancer and rare genetic disorders. Construction is expected to commence in the coming months and the facility is expected to be operational in 2026. According to the NSW government, which has committed $96 million to the facility’s construction, the centre will conduct “small-scale production of messenger RNA (mRNA), plasmid DNA (pDNA) and lipid nanoparticles (LNP) encapsulation at a scale which will enable clinical trials of new therapeutics.”

Australians are world leaders in fast fashion consumption, says new report

Australians buy more clothes per person than any other country, with this “fuelling a fast fashion waste crisis,” according to new  research from left-leaning think tank the Australia Institute. According to the analysis, Australia “has surpassed the US as the world’s biggest consumer of textiles per capita, much of which is fast fashion that ends up in landfill.” Australians buy an average of 56 new clothing items a year, more than the US (53), UK (33) and China (30), and the average value per item purchased by Australians is $13. Measures to improve on the situation include a French-style fast fashion tax; banning the export of textile waste within five years; government-funded discounts for people who get old garments repaired; and federal investment to develop an Australian circular textiles industry.

Picture: credit Incat Tasmania

Share this Story

Stay Informed

Go to Top