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Geelong’s manufacturing plant for short nanofibres is a world first

The recently-launched $500,000 Geelong Future Industry Project (GFIP) has the potential to create a new industry for Geelong.

Following a competitive application process, the GFIP funding has been awarded to Cytomatrix. The project is a collaboration between local biotechnology company, Cytomatrix; Geelong based engineering firm, Austeng; and Deakin University.

The project will develop a world-first pilot manufacturing plant for the production of short nanofibres and is a key component of the Skilling the Bay initiative, the project has the potential to create an exciting new industry for Geelong.

The project builds on innovative technology in nanofibre manufacturing recently developed by researchers from Cytomatrix and Deakin University. The ultimate aim of the project is to create a new, significant and sustainable nano-manufacturing capability in the Geelong region, and to build new skills to support the emerging and growing industry.

Short nanofibres have properties that lend the technology to a wide range of applications including filtration, medical sciences and biotechnology, environmental science and public health.

“The short nanofibre technology is truly world leading and has enormous potential. This project is a great example of innovation in an academic environment being translated into a commercial opportunity to develop and grow a new industry in Geelong,” said the CEO of Cytomatrix, Mark Kirkland.

The participation of students from Deakin and The Gordon is an important component of the Cytomatrix project. Cytomatrix will engage undergraduate and postgraduate students from Deakin University, with Austeng engaging vocational training students from The Gordon and engineering students from Deakin.

“This is an exciting initiative, enabling students to be involved with world-leading manufacturing techniques. It’s a great opportunity for The Gordon to work closely with Deakin University and industry on a cutting edge project to deliver industry relevant training for our students,” says Lisa Line, acting CEO of The Gordon.

The Cytomatrix project was chosen following a competitive application process. The project will be delivered over 2013 and 2014. The aim of the project is to:

  • transfer R&D from Deakin University into local industry to generate business opportunities and sustainable employment;
  • provide both TAFE and university students with the opportunity to participate in the project to gain skills and knowledge required for employment in the industry sector; and
  • create a relationship which enhances links between Deakin University, The Gordon and local industry in Geelong to support long-term collaboration, commercialisation and employment growth in the chosen industry sector.
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