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Additive Manufacturing CRC: Transforming Industry – AMCRC’s Mission to Drive Cutting-Edge Manufacturing in Australia.

Updated: Jan 11



Melbourne, 9 January 2024 - The Additive Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (AMCRC) has announced that it is launching a bid for funding in Round 25 of the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Grant Program which opened yesterday.

 

Globally there has been a rapid take-up of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies by companies developing new products to stay ahead in the innovation race. Start-ups and high growth companies like Boeing, Tesla, Stryker and Align have all documented significant advantages in utilising AM to enhance product performance, customise the user experience and improve supply chain efficiency. These advantages address many of the challenges that Australian manufacturers face in getting products into world markets and with the national imperative to get Australia making again, AM will be a critical part of this transformation journey.    

 

AMCRC’s bid is industry-led and backed by Australia’s peak manufacturing industry association, the Australian Manufacturing Technology Institute Limited (AMTIL), and leading research organisations including CSIRO.

 

AMTIL CEO Shane Infanti observed that Australian industry has been adopting 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies at a record pace but with global players like the US, EU and China establishing strategic policy and funding support for AM adoption, Australia needs a coordinated approach to drive AM onto our production lines.

 

“We only see the need for this growing as manufacturers look to incorporate AM into their production operations. Irrespective of the industry sector – medical, automotive, defence or construction - businesses realise that additive manufacturing can make their production more efficient and sustainable thus improving productivity and creating higher value jobs” Infanti said.


AMCRC’s mission is to build a world class AM industry in Australia that supports local businesses to innovate, become more competitive and grow commercially by bringing cutting-edge, high-value products, processes, and services to global markets.

 

Through collaborative investment and research in AM applications, technologies, and innovation, AMCRC aims to drive productivity, improve sustainability and create transformative change within Australia's manufacturing sector, which is crucial for the country's economic strength, resilience, and future viability. 

 

AMCRC bid lead Simon Marriott highlighted that a healthy and vibrant manufacturing sector not only creates opportunities and fuels the Australian economy in prosperous times but also mitigates risks by keeping the country functioning in times of crisis.

 

“Australia manufacturers have proven how adaptive and resilient they are. By driving the development of new AM technologies and disruptive business models, we enable them to future-proof their business and create pathways to excel on the global stage,” said Marriott.

 

Making use of Australia’s unique access to minerals and materials, including biomaterials, and collaborating with leading Australian research organisations that have built significant AM capabilities over the recent years, the AMCRC will deliver industry-led projects across five research programs tied to the seven priority areas of the National Reconstruction Fund (NRF):

 

  1. Sustainability and Industry Transformation

  2. Application and Material Development

  3. Surface Technologies and Post Processing

  4. Technology and Process Development, Production Qualification and Validation

  5. Digital Eco System – Data Management, A.I. and Digital Twins

 

To strengthen the position of the CRC bid – the Surface Manufacturing CRC (SMCRC) bid led by UniSA’s Industry Professor Colin Hall has joined the AMCRC. Acting on feedback from multiple industry partners, the AMCRC and SMCRC bid teams recently gathered to develop a cohesive research, development and commercialisation plan that will see the proposed bid address the challenge of a diminishing manufacturing sector and a loss of sovereign capability. Combining additive with surface capabilities and having them in one CRC will support an integrated manufacturing innovation ecosystem to provide the next generation of high quality, sustainable and customised products. Additive Manufacturing is perfectly poised to offer low volume, high value production capabilities, linking critical parts of Australia’s supply chain and develop a resilient manufacturing ecosystem.

 

AMCRC recognises the importance in developing a skilled workforce capable of leveraging the latest AM technologies. Thus, the CRC will develop training and certification programs to enhance the employability of individuals in the AM industry with certificate III apprenticeships. It will also facilitate the integration of Masters/PhD students into the collaborative research projects.

 

Through these efforts, AMCRC will develop an Australian AM ecosystem, linking material and service providers, AM technology partners and SMEs, manufacturers with end users and establish Australia as a world-leading player in AM, forging a sustainable path to economic growth and technological advancement.

 

A wide range of industry partners have already committed to the CRC and are actively working with AMCRC’s research organisations to define projects that will lead to the next generation of products and services.

 

The CRC is seeking further industry partners to join the bid initiative and take advantage of the grant opportunities for eligible research projects.

 

Further information about the AMCRC can be found at amcrc.com.au, or by contacting our industry engagement lead, John Croft on 0414 747 636/ john.croft@amcrc.com.au or Frank Wagner on 0460 550 161/ frank.wagner@amcrc.com.au.

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