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Quickstep Holdings has established a global research and development centre at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus, Geelong, Australia, where Quickstep’s automotive division is based.
According to Quickstep, the new R&D centre will manage ongoing development of all Quickstep technologies and intellectual property, supporting the company’s aerospace and automotive facilities in Australia and Germany. Quickstep and Deakin University say they will continue their close relationship through a long-term Strategic R&D and Education Agreement, and R&D activity currently undertaken at Quickstep’s Munich facility will be relocated to the centre.
The R&D centre will support the fast-tracking and industrialisation of Quickstep’s patented Qure process for moulding and curing carbon fibre composite parts in niche volumes; and the development of RapidQure, a fully automated high-volume manufacturing system for the automotive industry. These are disruptive technologies which Quickstep explain can significantly reduce the cost of manufacturing carbon fibre components for Quickstep customers.
Quickstep is pleased to acknowledge the support of the State Government of Victoria’s investment promotion arm Invest Victoria to relocate R&D from Germany to Geelong. The funding is in addition to the $1.76 million grant provided by the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund (GRIIF), an initiative funded by the Federal and Victorian Governments and Ford Australia, announced in November 2014.
Quickstep’s Managing Director, David Marino, said, “Establishment of our global R&D centre is a strategic step which expedites development of Quickstep’s technology and intellectual property in Australia. We are grateful for the support of Invest Victoria, which joins the Australian government and Ford Australia in helping to progress the establishment of our high-tech automotive and research centre at Waurn Ponds. Quickstep will benefit from access to Deakin University’s ‘carbon cluster’ with its skilled researchers, laboratories and industry networks, close working relationships with partnered research institutions and potential customers.”
Deakin University Vice Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander, said, “Deakin University is delighted to be strengthening our collaboration with Quickstep, Australia’s largest independent manufacturer of aerospace-grade carbon fibre composites. The establishment of Quickstep’s Automotive division at our Geelong Waurn Ponds campus further enhances our regional capacity and capability by introducing another carbon-based technology company into the precinct. Deakin is proud of its growing global reputation in working with industry and actively supporting industry growth and this move is a critical boost for job creation, industry engagement and development in the Geelong region.”
Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford, said, “Securing Quickstep’s R&D operations confirms Victoria’s reputation as a global leader and as a state ready to attract and accept investment from across our region and the world.”
“By facilitating this relocation, the Andrews Labor Government is creating jobs and generating investment in Geelong.”
Quickstep claims that the manufacturing of carbon composite components for both the aerospace/defence and automotive sectors is forecast to grow substantially over the next decade across the globe. The further development and commercialisation of Quickstep’s advanced manufacturing technologies, in cooperation with Deakin University, will provide an opportunity for Victoria and Australia to take a substantial position in this growth sector.
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