Geelong leads nation in advanced manufacturing

March 18, 2021 BY

Professor Iain Martin, Minister for Higher Education Gayle Tierney and South Barwon MP Darren Cheeseman celebrate the announcement of ManuFutures 2. Photo JAMES TAYLOR

GEELONG will be placed at the forefront of advanced manufacturing following a $10 million state government investment.

The Andrews Government has committed to investing in the region as the nation’s leading manufacturing precinct with the development of ManuFutures 2 at Deakin University.

ManuFutures 2 will be the second of its kind built at the Waurn Ponds campus and will help to accelerate innovations in manufacturing while creating more than 170 local jobs.

The facility will feature a product engineering development laboratory and six adaptable spaces to field test and manufacture products to market.

A variety of products have been approved for manufacturing on the proposed site including the world’s lightest and strongest carbon fibre road bike wheels, enhanced fabrics for athletic clothing and equipment, as well as smart sensors to improve water management on farms.

Minister for Higher Education Gayle Tierney called the project an exciting investment into the local economy.

“This project is a great example of what the Higher Education State Investment Fund is all about – giving Victorians more opportunities, strengthening the skills and training sector, creating jobs and boosting the economy,” she said.

The investment is a part of a $350 million dollar fund to support universities with capital works, research infrastructure projects and applied research that is focused on boosting Victoria’s productivity and economy following the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Deakin University has vowed to match the donation to the major project in the hopes of giving start-ups and existing small and medium enterprises the opportunity to link-in with Geelong’s knowledge economy.

Professor Iain Martin from Deakin University called the Geelong Future Economy Precinct at the Waurn Ponds campus an epicentre for world-leading research and innovation in advanced manufacturing, energy, sustainability, technology health and high-value agriculture.

“ManuFutures 2 brings to life Deakin’s commitment to the economic and social development of regional Victoria by taking the unique industry-university collaborative model we’ve built in Geelong and expanding this to manufacturing centres right across the state from Bendigo to Warrnambool and beyond,” he said.

“This critical infrastructure project is an excellent example of universities working together with governments and the private sector to leverage investment, create local jobs and deliver transformative outcomes for our community.”

ManuFutures is currently home to 13 businesses which is anticipated to more than double following the 3000-sqm development of ManuFutures 2.

Construction is set to begin this year with the new facility anticipated to start housing tenants by late 2022.

Partner organisations already confirmed as tenants include lithium sulphur battery manufacturer, Li-S Energy, textile technology company, Xefco and engineering training company, Victech.