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The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP has visited Carbon Nexus at Deakin University for the first time.

The cutting-edge carbon fibre composite research facility, Carbon Nexus, has hosted Australia’s Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, for a tour of its carbon fibre research facilities and manufacturing lines.

Mr Turnbull was in Geelong on 17 January to announce Geelong recipients of the Federal Government’s $20 million Regional Jobs and Investment Package (RJIP). Three of the successful recipients – LeMond Composites, Conflux Technology and 36T – received grants totalling almost $6.4 million to develop their operations at Waurn Ponds.

Deakin University Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Gary Smith welcomed the announcement.

“Deakin contributed to the Regional Jobs and Investment Package process, with our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander AO, chairing the local planning committee of regional business and community leaders that advised the Federal Government on priority areas for funding,” said Professor Smith.

The Director of Carbon Nexus, Derek Buckmaster, was delighted to show the Prime Minister the facilities at Carbon Nexus.

“Mr Turnbull was energised by the innovations he saw here, highlighting Carbon Nexus as a demonstration of Australian innovation,” said Mr Buckmaster. “He met with Carbon Nexus PhD Candidate Maxime Maghe, one of the inventors of the new technology that will underpin LeMond’s vision to manufacture quality, low-cost carbon fibre for the masses.”

While announcing the recipients of the Federal Government funding, the Prime Minister congratulated Deakin and the Carbon Nexus team for their innovative research that is supporting hundreds of new jobs.

“I just want to say congratulations to Deakin University. We have here in Geelong ­­– pioneered by the brilliant research and development that you, Derek, and your team have done here – the world’s leading centre for the development and production of advanced carbon fibre materials,” Mr Turnbull said.

“What a great testament to the ingenuity and innovation of Deakin University and Geelong, to ensure we have the jobs of the future.”

Professor Smith noted that Deakin’s world-class research, infrastructure, and industry and government partnerships would continue to support the Geelong region’s future as a centre for high-value, advanced manufacturing.

“The Federal Government’s support for LeMond Composites also demonstrates Geelong’s growing reputation as a world leader in carbon fibre research and manufacturing.

“Deakin is proud to have supported the development of this high-value, job-creating industry for the region through our globally-unique, award-winning Carbon Nexus centre, which was established at Waurn Ponds in 2014.”

LeMond will use their $5 million grant to support the development of Australia’s first commercial carbon fibre manufacturing facility. The $1.02 million received by Conflux will support the development of an Additive Manufacturing and Engineering Centre, while the $309,000 grant to 36T will support the company to tool, process develop and commission a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing centre for global export of world-leading carbon composite intensive cycle wheels.

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Carbon Nexus is a purpose-built research facility designed to accommodate the diverse needs of international manufacturing organisations that require the cost-effective resolution of carbon fibre-related projects.

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