Industry research initiatives and activities

To realise our vision of shaping the future of sovereign manufacturing in regional Australia we have developed four possible industry research themes, with specific programs and projects to be collaboratively defined with our participating partners.

Advanced and green materials

Ensuring next generation products are competitive, green and sustainable, and designing new materials for regional industry:

  • Enabling the usage of advanced alloy, carbon fibre, textile and composite materials in regional manufacturing
  • Designing and optimising processes for manufacturing new materials through artificial intelligence to bring new products to market
  • Developing green material solutions with embodied energy and reuse in mind.

Lead: Prof Craig Wheeler (University of Newcastle)
Deputy Leads: Prof Zakaria Quadir (Curtin University), Prof Lingxue Kong, Dr Yanan Wang (Deakin University)

Circularity and energy futures

Creating and identifying opportunities for manufacturers and other businesses to transition to a sustainable and renewable future by:

  • Enabling a circular economy approach to manufactured materials and waste to strengthen clean energy competitiveness
  • Applying smart, stand-alone energy systems for manufacturing applications in food & beverage, mining & resources, building & construction, transport and supply chain logistics
  • Implementing sustainable manufacturing solutions that minimise waste and reduce the environmental impact for a low-carbon future.

Lead: Prof Bernadette McCabe (University of Southern Queensland)
Deputy Leads: Prof Syed Islam (Federation University), A/Prof Nasser Hosseinzadeh (Deakin University)

Collaborative machines

Supporting manufactures to improve human-machine interaction and learning to increase operational autonomy, productivity and performance including:

  • accelerating the adoption of Industry 4.0 and 5.0 digital transformation technologies
  • Supporting the design of flexible, re-configurable and connected manufacturing systems and processes
  • building awareness of and implementing the use of intelligent systems (Cobots, IoT, sensors, cybersecurity and human machine teaming).
  • Exploring how VR/AR/XR technologies can be used for training and connecting remote communities.

Lead: A/Prof Saeed Banihashemi (University of Canberra)
Deputy Leads: A/Prof Zoran Najdovski, A/Prof Santu Rana (Deakin University) Prof Charles Lemckert (University of Canberra)

Business and community resilience

A cross-cutting program improving business diversity and robustness to combat supply chain disruptions, and community-based programs to improve skills in the regions, understand how to retain qualified staff, and build strength in community precincts.

  • Social and community partner programs to both retain and attract skills and expertise
  • Understanding supply chain disruption, building resilience and optimisation
  • Agile, creative and sustainable regional businesses
  • Scalability, competitiveness and manufacturing diversity

Lead: Prof The Hon. John McVeigh (University of Southern Queensland)
Deputy Leads: A/Prof Joshua Newton, A/Prof Jo Ingold (Deakin University)