The Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre (AFFRIC) at Deakin University is set to place the Geelong region as an international hub for research in advanced fibrous materials.
The new A$100 million, research centre is a joint initiative between CSIRO, Deakin University and the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing.
Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, said: “the centre will see CSIRO and Deakin University researchers working together on a series of projects aimed at increasing the research capacity of both organisations to service the textile and fibre industry.
“The new centre will have a world-first, pilot scale research plant able to produce commercial quantities of carbon fibre which is at the core of a number of advanced materials used in aeronautical and other engineering applications,” Minister Evans said.
Partnerships in research and development are reportedly already in place, with the likes of Quiksilver on board to develop material for action sportswear; the Australian Defence Force to develop smart fibres for use in uniform fabrics; and the Cotton R&D Corporation to develop low twist, fine count yarns and fabrics from cotton.
Geelong will also benefit from the project, with the AFFRIC expected to generate almost 500 indirect jobs in the region during the construction phase.
‘The AFFRIC will also bring together expertise from around Australia in an international-standard hub and will allow Australian researchers to establish collaborations with researchers across the world, Austrade revealed.’