20 February 2017

Quickstep funding boost for manufacture of carbon fibre auto parts

I am delighted to be joined by Craig Laundy, Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, in Geelong to announce the details of a Turnbull Government initiative which will encourage local industry and research institutions to work collaboratively to develop a technological solution for car seat development.

Quickstep Automotive Pty Ltd and Deakin University have been awarded a Co-operative Research Centre grant of $1.4m to deliver a made to order materials and process solution for lightweight carbon fibre seats.

The Turnbull Government will also invest $250,000 through the Advanced Manufacturing Industry Growth Centre to allow Quickstep to develop a low cost carbon composite fender for the European automotive market with the potential to generate export revenue of $25m.

Carbon fibre composites remain niche products in cars primarily due to the high cost of materials and manufacturing, despite the weight reduction, improved performance and aesthetic appeal they provide.

The funding for the carbon fibre seats has been made available under Round Two of the Turnbull Government’s Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) initiative, which supports short-term industry-led collaborations to solve industry problems and deliver tangible outcomes.

Seventeen projects Australia-wide, selected from 57 applications, will share in $34.5m in funding.

With $79.9m in cash and in-kind inputs from more than 70 participating businesses, partnerships and research institutions, this represents $114.4m invested in outcomes-focused research.

The projects will apply high quality research to solving an industry-specific issue, or develop new products, technologies or services.

This work supports the National Innovation and Science Agenda pillar to foster industry-research collaboration.

Quickstep has already been awarded $1.76m under the Geelong Region Innovation Investment Fund (GRIIF) and last year signed an MOU with DCNS in the hope of developing carbon fibre parts for the Turnbull Government’s $50 billion defence order of 12 next generation submarines.

With 26 staff already employed in production and R&D, Quickstep also manufactures hi-tech glass fibre components for the Thales Australia’s Hawkei armoured vehicle.

The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Arthur Sinodinos, has announced a third CRC-P round. Applications for round three are open until 22 March 2017, with funding outcomes expected to be announced in mid-2017.

Information on the second round recipients, and how to apply for the third round, is available from: https://www.business.gov.au/crc-p

20 February 2017