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First birthday marks year of success for Carbon Nexus

The birthday celebrations began early with the announcement of a US 4.7 million ARC grant for the new Future Fibres Industrial Transformation Research Hub.

26th August 2015

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Geelong, Victoria

Industrial, Civil Engineering, Sustainable, Construction, Transport/​Aerospace

The birthday celebrations began early with the announcement of a US 4.7 million ARC grant for the new Future Fibres Industrial Transformation Research Hub (ITRH) in May, to develop advanced carbon fibres and nanofibres to support more sustainable and advanced manufacturing.

“The Australian Research Council (ARC) funding for the ITRH is one example of how government and industry are confident in Carbon Nexus' capacity to lead the way on the path to creating the world's best carbon fibre and to driving the jobs of the future,” explained Derek Buckmaster, Carbon Nexus Director.

Positive outlook

With the recent announcement of a US 1.76 million Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund grant for Carbon Nexus and Quickstep to establish a dedicated automotive division to be located at Deakin University, the future of Carbon Nexus – and Geelong – is looking positive.

“There are so many reasons to be excited about the future of advanced manufacturing through the development of better, lighter, stronger and more cost-effective carbon fibre,” said Mr Buckmaster.

“Carbon Nexus is well on the way to developing the most cost-effective PAN (polyacrylonitrile) based carbon fibre targeted for specific applications. This brings us one step closer to one of our main aims – reducing the cost of industrial-grade carbon fibre materials.”

Capabilities of carbon fibre

Mr Buckmaster, who has just returned from a visit to the US where he participated in the inaugural meeting of the Institute of Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), said the global manufacturing industry was growing increasingly excited about the future capabilities of carbon fibre and that Carbon Nexus was playing a key role in its advancement.

“Our carbon fibre production line is embedded within Deakin University, enabling innovative research outcomes and already working with industry on projects that are helping to drive the jobs of the future,” he said. “Building a new industry takes commitment, an unwavering focus on innovation and strong partnerships between academia and industry – and that is what goes to the heart of Carbon Nexus.”

Research Director Professor Bronwyn Fox agreed, noting that the first year of activities for Carbon Nexus represented the culmination of the vision that was seeded at Deakin in 2008. “Seven years ago we imagined Carbon Nexus to be a world-leading carbon fibre research institute, attracting future industries to research and invest in Geelong, and now this vision is becoming a reality,” she said.

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