ManuFutures 2 scales Geelong’s advanced manufacturing capabilities

Image credit: Deakin University

Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus is now home to Manufutures 2, a hub that seeks to strengthen the advanced manufacturing capabilities of Geelong, Victoria, driving the creation of more jobs in the region. 

Minister for Manufacturing Sovereignty Ben Carroll visited the campus today to open the hub, where local business and university researchers can collaborate to develop, field test, and manufacture new products. 

ManuFutures 2 will provide businesses with access to product engineering services, incubator programs, and spaces for training and industry collaboration. 

Backed by the Victorian government with a $10 million investment, the new facility will serve as an extension to the original ManuFutures hub, which opened in 2018 and has since produced world-leading innovations, including the world’s lightest and strongest carbon fibre road bike wheels.  

“First established in 2018, ManuFutures showcases Deakin’s commitment to building Australia’s advanced manufacturing capabilities and creating a skilled local manufacturing workforce for the future,” said Professor Iain Martin, vice-chancellor of Deakin University. 

Organisations have already set up in the hub, including paint recycling initiative Paintback, textile and coating technologies manufacturer Xefco and lithium sulphur battery producer Li-S. 

Victoria is home to a $33 billion manufacturing industry comprised of around 24,000 businesses supporting more than 250,000 jobs and providing around 30 per cent of Australia’s manufacturing output. 

The investment in ManuFutures 2 is part of the state government’s initiatives to cement the state’s international reputation as a destination for manufacturing investment, research and global talent. 

“Victoria is the advanced manufacturing capital of Australia and the expansion of ManuFutures will help local businesses to innovate and create jobs,” Minister Carroll said. 

“We’re supporting Victorian businesses to build their links with university researchers to help them create innovative products that they can take to the world,” said Minister for Higher Education Gayle Tierney. 

Through its 2023/24 Budget, the Victorian government allocated investments in local research and development capabilities and advanced manufacturers. These investments include the new $15 million Made in Victoria — Industry R&D Infrastructure Fund and the $20 million Manufacturing and Industry Sovereignty Fund.