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Search for industry partners for Surface Manufacturing CRC – series launch

Manufacturing News

@AuManufacturing today launches a new series on researchers led by UniSA who are seeking companies to develop surface processing capabilities, in a planned Surface Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre. Here, Peter Roberts sets the scene – what can manufacturers expect from a new Surface Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (SMCRC)?

SMEs who collaborate with each other and with public sector researchers are known to grow faster, innovate more, experience rising sales and are more resilient in adapting to challenges.

With many barriers to collaboration, the Cooperative Research Centre programme is a proven way to work with others, with multiple reviews of the programme showing massive returns to the economy and to the companies that participate in CRCs.

Now a proposed Surface Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre is set to open new global market opportunities through innovative surface technology.

According to the lead of the CRC bid, UniSA Industry Professor Colin Hall, this can be as simple as the water-repellent coatings Australian company Sypaq applied to cardboard to make cheap, weatherproof, radar transparent drones now used extensively in Ukraine.

Hall said: “Normally something fails at the surface so you are going to have to repair the surface or change the surface to give it new and desirable properties.

“It doesn’t have to be a coating – it can be a surface treatment, like heat treating, nitro carbonising, those sort of things fit into this.

“Even slightly modifying a surface can be critical in keeping mining industry equipment going and productive.”

To learn more, the researchers have organised an online information session specially for @AuManufacturing readers on Wednesday, 22 November, 10:30 am – 11:45 am ACDT Register here.

The SMCRC grows from five years of research into surface engineering through the Industrial Transformation Training Centre (ITTC) – Surface Engineering for Advanced Materials.

This ARC funded centre has trained 26 Phds and six postdocs who are now ready to work with industry to solve their problems and develop new products and processes, as well as reuse and remanufacture capabilities to boost competitiveness.

Other leading industry-oriented institutions have expressed interest in joining the SMCRC bid, including Swinburne University of Technology, Curtin University, University of Wollongong, CSIRO and ANSTO.

Said Hall: “We have some really good students, the work they have done is fantastic, and we have great partners.

“It is laid the foundation for us to ask what’s next – having research projects is the missing link.”

The public sector researchers have reached out to more than 60 potential industry partners, with more than 20 very interested in joining the SMCRC.

To learn more, email [email protected].

Working with a CRC can be very attractive for SMEs and larger companies.

As Hall explains the CRC offers a one to one funding model – for every $1 of company money there is a matching $1 from the universities.

On top of this is access to university know how and facilities

“One barrier to collaborations is companies don’t have the time to go out an visit all these universities and work out what’s there and talk to the researchers to see how they can help them.

“The CRC can do that leg work, and bring the right people together to solve the industry problem.”

The new SMCRC will cover multiple areas impacting defence, medical, mining and mineral processing, transportation, energy and agriculture.

Hall said: “With support for industry 5.0 adoption, a defence readiness programme, and an extensive test and evaluation programme, the CRC will target companies and put them on a positive growth trajectory.”

Further reading:
Interview with UniSA Industry Professor Colin Hall here.

Picture: UniSA

This series is brought to you by UniSA on behalf of the proposed Surface Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre.

Surface Engineering and Manufacturing optimise material properties, customise products, enhancing their longevity and performance. For SMEs, it’s a gateway to innovation, reducing costs and fostering global competitiveness by delivering superior and tailored solutions. Companies can join us in our Surface Manufacturing CRC bid to shape the future of sustainable and competitive manufacturing in Australia.

To learn more, register for the online information session, Wednesday, 22 November, 10:30 am – 11:45 am ACDT Register here. …… Or email [email protected].

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