Melbourne August 17th 2017

World-leading graphene research program launch gives guests a sense of the future

  • Major three-year private/public research program inaugurated, backed by nearly $1 million in Commonwealth funding
  • Graphene’s remarkable properties to disrupt industry and infrastructure
  • Incredible potential in smart roads, safer mining projects, wearable technology and more

Australian scientists and businesses from here and abroad, led by Imagine Intelligent Materials, came together in Melbourne at the Internet of Industrial Materials Conference 2017 to explore opportunities for Australian industry in the emergent Internet of Things sector, predicted to be worth $US 11 trillion in less than a decade[1].

At the conference Swinburne University and Imagine Intelligent Materials cut the ribbon on the three-year Graphene Supply Chain CRC-P project. This strategic research initiative is the first of its kind globally, and is backed by $1m in Commonwealth funding.  It will lead to quality assurance throughout supply chains by developing predictability of materials using graphene for the advanced manufacturing sector globally.

Graphene has the potential to help realise massive opportunities in the Internet of Things. This Nobel prize winning material is being used in manufacturing because of its incredible electrical conductivity  to make “smart” materials that can sense and report on environmental change, without the need of additional electronic devices.

“Smart materials mean we can now take the internet beyond devices and connect directly into the materials that make up our world,” explained Dave Giles-Kaye, Head of Business Development at Imagine Intelligent Materials.

“Jeans that can make a phone call, roads that communicate with cars for better traffic management, water pipes that report on leaks are all possible now with smart materials,”

Scientists at Swinburne university together with Australian manufacturers will address and solve challenges that have made it difficult to put graphene into the mainstream of manufacturing by developing characterisation and certification capabilities to enable scale up of graphene manufacturing.

Delivering ways to ensure replicability of quality-assured graphene could lead to vast rewards for Australia and its manufacturers. The material is expected to be a vital enabling technology for manufacturers and will allow those who lead in its adoption to take the lead in advanced manufacturing supply chains.

“We think of production, we think in products, and we think at scale, and I think that’s where Australia can play a significant role,” explained Professor Bronwyn Fox, Director of the Manufacturing Futures Research Institute, Swinburne University.

“For me, the most exciting time for any materials science is where you see that translation into the marketplace. And to be at the forefront of that, working with Imagine IM on that at this particular moment in time, is an incredible opportunity and we’re thrilled to be a part of that.


About graphene:

Graphene’s discoverers were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010. Graphene is the first two-dimensional material and is classed as a “super-material” offering extremely high electrical and thermal conductivity, hydrophobicity, strength, and impermeability to all gases.

About The Graphene Supply Chain CRC-P

The Graphene Supply Chain CRC-P is a research initiative at Swinburne University made possible by the Collaborative Research Centres Programme of the Australian Federal Government. The lead industrial partner in the CRC-P is Imagine Intelligent Materials Pty Ltd, a graphene-based coatings company founded in 2014, with its Geelong plant having a capacity of over 10 tonnes of graphene per year. Other industry partners in the CRC-P are Austeng, HRL, Duromer and Agilent.


[1] According to a McKinsey study, The Internet of Things will contribute up to $US11 trillion in economic value globally by 2025.