A new state of the art facility at the University of Wollongong, the first of its kind in the country, will help develop new materials, technology and expertise that will deliver real benefits to Australians.
Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, today opened the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials (AIIM) Processing and Devices Facility which will allow new breakthroughs to be scaled-up from lab sized quantities to materials suitable for commercialisation
Work is already underway on better batteries for electric vehicles, solar panels that can work in the shade and medical bionic implants.
“Many of the new technologies that will be developed here will enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities and injuries, and will contribute to smarter and more efficient energy use,” Senator Evans said.
“The new facility is already building strong links with industry, like the partnership with St Vincent’s Hospital, which is developing an epilepsy detection implant that can detect a seizure and deliver controlled drug releases, which will make a significant difference to patients.
“The cutting-edge facility will also attract world-class researchers and enhance national and international research collaboration.
“Research partnerships with some of the world’s largest and most renowned research institutions such as Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in India and the Chinese Academy of Sciences are already in the pipeline.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education, Sharon Bird MP, said the facility will ensure the University of Wollongong is recognised as a world leader in research.
“This is a great project for Wollongong – it adds space for an extra 150 AIIM staff and new postgraduate research student numbers are expected to rise from 50 to 75 each year,” Ms Bird said.
Federal Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones MP, said the facility will result in more research jobs.
“The facility will be a first class training environment for undergraduate and postgraduate students across a range of disciplines - chemists, engineers, physicists, biologists and materials scientists,” Mr Jones said.
The Gillard Government invested $43.8 million from the Education Investment Fund in the new facility.