The University of Sydney has inked a long-term Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GE Additive that supports the creation of the first metal additive manufacturing ecosystem in Australia.
The ten-year agreement will see GE Additive invest as much as US$1 million annually on R&D initiatives spanning materials and powder technologies, sensor technology and image processing analytics to accelerate the adoption of metal additive manufacturing in Australia and the region.
Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Michael Spence said the agreement builds on the University’s world-class expertise in the disciplines essential to advanced manufacturing such as materials engineering and integrated digital systems.
“By partnering with GE Additive, an industry leader in additive manufacturing, we can set the agenda for this disruptive technology and ensure that Australia is primed to both participate in, and contribute to, this exciting next phase of the industrial revolution,” Mr Spence continued.
“The collaboration will drive the R&D needed to learn how this disruption to manufacturing can be harnessed for economic benefit. We are especially delighted that this initiative aligns with our plan to establish a new campus at Parramatta/ Westmead, where advanced manufacturing will be a key focus.”
Debbra Rogers, chief commercial officer, GE Additive, said the University of Sydney was the perfect partner to transfer the company’s vision for additive manufacturing in Australia.
“Additive requires a completely different way of engineering and thinking. Educating and training current workforces with new skills and also getting more engineers into additive takes time and programs need to be developed over a number of years,” Ms Rogers added.
“The University of Sydney recognises this and that in order to build the right mindset, the right skills, the right materials we need to encourage close collaboration between companies, academia and governments.”
Professor Simon Ringer, Director of Core Research Facilities at the University of Sydney, said the MoU reinforced the University’s commitment to establish a new 1,000sqm Additive Manufacturing and Advanced Materials Processing research facility that will serve as a focal point for the partnership.
“This addition to the University’s core research facilities will allow our researchers and research partners to conduct trail-blazing fundamental research, and will directly benefit Australian industry, particularly our aerospace, transport, biomedical and defence sectors,” Professor Ringer stated.
“We are creating an environment for our researchers to explore the limits of what materials can do, how they are structured, and how to make them. Establishing a world-class capability in Darlington/ Camperdown is a key first step for our grand plans for Advanced Manufacturing in Paramatta/ Westmead.”
The collaboration will also see the two parties work together on the development of new applications and potentially new additive manufacturing industries, providing bilateral access to GE Additive‘s and the University of Sydney’s local and global networks of academic, industry and government stakeholders.