As Australia’s CSIRO launches its $6 million advanced 3D printing facility, the country is also opening its own Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), which will see a number of Australia’s researchers and businesses join together to accelerate the nation’s manufacturing industry. And it will have a total budget of $250 million to do so.
The IMCRC will begin with 14 global manufacturing companies, 16 universities, CSIRO, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology, and four industry bodies meant to bring on board more than 300 SMEs as partners. Together, these businesses and organizations will connect to drive Australia’s 3D printing capacity forward, not unlike the role that America Makes is meant to play in the US.
To kick things off, the IMCRC has secured $40 million from the Australian government that will be matched by $210 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry, research institutions, and state governments. In total, this gives the Centre $250 million to begin changing the world of Australian manufacturing. IMCRC Interim Chair, Dr Peter Jonson, said, “The decision to establish the IMCRC is visionary and provides an exciting opportunity for Australian manufacturing. We shall be part of a powerful movement to transform the future of Australian manufacturing. Key members of this exciting cooperative venture will hit the ground running to help transform manufacturing in Australia. Ten major industry-research cooperative projects are ready to start just as soon as necessary formalities are finalised”.
IMCRC will focus primarily on high-growth sectors, in order to drive the companies involved to adopt these innovative new technologies more quickly. The four themes of focus for IMCRC are: Additive Manufacturing Processes, Automated and Assistive Technologies, High Value Product Development, and Industry Transformation. The AM theme will be divided into research covering Design, Materials, and Systems and many of the Centre’s members working on this research are those you may be familiar with reading 3DPI, including the University of Wollongong and RMIT University, among others.
Interestingly, this announcement occurs shortly after the Inside 3D Printing event that took place in Melbourne two weeks back. Whether or not they’re related is unclear, but what is clear is that Australia is beginning to grow its 3D printing capabilities even more quickly this year.