Innovation Boost for Geelong

September 10 2015

INNOVATION BOOST FOR GEELONG

The Geelong Manufacturing Council welcomed Tuesday’s announcement by Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren. Representing Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford, Minister Eren announced that part of the new Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund would extend the Industry Innovation Program (IIP) delivered by the Geelong Manufacturing Council in close consultation with Deakin University.

Since it started in 2011, the program has initiated 86 projects, of which 57 have been completed and 29 are current. Projects are industry based and access the research and facilities of Deakin University to provide technological advantage for Geelong businesses.

The IIP has partnered many companies in the region with researchers, producing notable successes that have created investment, local jobs and commercialisation of new products.

The announcement was made at Austeng, a local engineering firm that has experienced many successful collaborative projects with Deakin University. Austeng is a prime example of the evolution of traditional industry in Geelong transitioning to higher technology and seizing opportunities that were not available in the past.

Commercial nursery Boomaroo Nurseries engaged Deakin engineering students to design new seedling trays that increase throughput in the hot-house by 35%. Previous assessment of the trays concluded the design was not possible but the Deakin students found success through several trials of new designs.

The program has helped the IXL Group identify products and explore technologies available at Deakin. It is currently working with the university to explore the feasibility of producing new architectural products.

The program has also delivered the annual Geelong Innovation Expo attracting 200 attendees, which has helped build the region’s culture of innovation through industry networking, collaboration and celebration of success.

The Industry Innovation Program will be extended until  31 July 2016, allowing an independent review of the program by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.

David Peart, CEO Geelong Manufacturing Council said that “This support from the state government for innovation in Geelong is certainly welcomed and provides our new advanced manufacturers with a program and ongoing certainty promoting collaboration with Deakin University. The Industry Innovation Program while proven successful to date is increasing its reach and impact. We are in a critical stage now and working to increase advanced manufacturing in Geelong.”

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L-R Ross George(Austeng), Prof Peter Hodgson (Deakin University), Michael Williams (GMC Industry Innovation Manager), Hon John Eren, Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Chris Couzens MP, Lyn George (Austeng), Jamie Baensch (GMC Chairman)