22 June 2017

Deakin University and LeMond Composites $58m deal a game changer for our nation

Congratulations to Deakin University and LeMond Composites on the announcement of their incredibly exciting $58m carbon fibre licensing and production agreement.

The deal means that LeMond Composites, founded by three time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, will  license technology developed by Deakin’s world leading carbon fibre research centre.

The highly sought after technology makes the manufacture of carbon fibre cheaper and faster by using up to 75 per cent less energy. An increasing range of products will be able to utilise the cheaper material including laptops, boats, bridges, cars and bikes.

LeMond Composites has also announced that it will consider the development of a $30m carbon fibre manufacturing plant in Geelong.

This deal is an absolute game changer for our region and for our nation.  It builds on the unique partnerships developed between Deakin University, industry and government including the very important local investments the Turnbull government has made in carbon fibre and advanced materials research and production. These include:

  • A $4.7m Australian Research Council grant for the Future Fibres Research Hub at Deakin;
  • $5m for Carbon Revolution under the Geelong Regional Innovation and Investment Fund (GRIIF) to support the construction of Carbon Revolution’s new state of the art $26m factory at Deakin Waurn Ponds;
  • $1.76m for Quickstep under the GRIIF for the manufacture of hi-tech glass fibre components for the Thales Australia’s Hawkei armoured vehicle;
  • A Co-operative Research Centre grant of $1.4m for Quickstep and Deakin University to deliver a made to order materials and process solution for lightweight carbon fibre seats; and
  • A $250,000 grant from the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre for the Geelong Advanced Fibre Cluster

Deakin’s Innovation Precinct is now home to some 1,000 jobs including at CSIRO and Carbon Nexus.  With a $100m Advanced Manufacturing Fund announced in the 2017 Federal Budget, I will continue to advocate for new funding opportunities for our region’s advanced manufacturing sector.

Despite our challenges, today’s news demonstrates that Geelong is rapidly becoming a premier centre of advanced manufacturing excellence.

21 June 2017