Government helps regional manufacturers to ‘imagine’ the possibilities

22 August 2017

The Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Craig Laundy, today opened a new graphene manufacturing plant in Geelong, which will help see innovative new products that are strong, flexible and lightweight, delivered into global markets.

Mr Laundy said Imagine Intelligent Materials was a great example of a regional manufacturer whose cutting-edge work was having an impact beyond the region.

Imagine Intelligent Materials has already helped create ‘smart’ products such as a graphene-based industrial coating that can detect unseen holes in dams and tunnels, and graphene-enabled sensors that can detect real time changes in stress, temperature and moisture.

“They have demonstrated a capacity to both develop and manufacture highly effective end products which have revolutionary implications for manufacturing industries in Australia,” Mr Laundy said.

“They’ve done that by embracing new technologies, linking with global value chains, and developing high value-added products.”

Graphene, considered a ‘smart material’, is the thinnest, strongest material known and is an elite conductor of electricity. It is expected to revolutionise industry and consumer products over the next twenty years, with applications in electronics, batteries, fashion and sports wearable technology, mining, construction, water conservation and purification, automotive structures and energy storage.

Mr Laundy said the government had a range of measures to enhance competitiveness, resourcefulness and resilience of manufacturing firms in rural, regional and outer suburban areas—like Imagine Intelligent Materials—to take advantage of the economic opportunities presented by emerging markets, including the rise of Asia.

“Some of our major initiatives include the Industry Growth Centres, National Innovation and Science Agenda, Entrepreneurs Programme, CSIRO and Cooperative Research Centres,” he said.

“And I’m pleased to be able to announce today that the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre will make a commitment of $250,000 toward manufacturing competitiveness-specific graphene projects accelerating Australia’s leadership in commercialising graphene at high production scale.

“And the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), one of the Government’s Industry Growth Centres, has established a collaboration hub for advanced fibre materials with Deakin University and CSIRO.”

Mr Laundy said in a world where demand was growing for ‘smart’ products using ‘smart materials’, Australia needed to be at the leading edge of bringing research in advanced materials to market.

“The future of Australian manufacturing lies in developing high-value ‘smart’ products that capture people’s imagination—and that’s precisely what Imagine IM is doing.”

Media Contact: Minister Laundy’s office 02 6277 4345