Quickstep has been awarded a grant of $1.76 million from the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund (GRIIF) (an Australian Government, Victorian Government and Ford Australia funded initiative under the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund), which will assist with this project.

The Quickstep automotive division will be located at Deakin University's Waurn Ponds campus in Geelong. Quickstep will establish a new facility to design and develop automotive manufacturing cells incorporating the Quickstep Process, an out-of-autoclave technology which uses fluids to cure components, and the Quickstep resin spray transfer (RST) system.

The facility will also enable the production of customer prototypes and initial production quantities. Total project expenditure is anticipated to be $5.6 million from now to June 2017 and will create 30 new jobs.

Carbon fibre expertise

Quickstep has collaborated with Deakin University for over a decade. The new facility will also give the company access to Carbon Nexus, Deakin's open access pilot carbon fibre manufacturing line and research facility.

"We are capitalising on Deakin’s knowledge of Quickstep and the area's wealth of automotive skills to create a new automotive division associated with the Carbon Nexus facility," says Quickstep Executive Chairman, Tony Quick.

"This grant will make an important contribution to enable us to build a strong automotive culture and propel Quickstep further into the global automotive market. Carbon Nexus provides access to industry and a team of researchers who have helped to develop new carbon fibres, reduce production costs and speed up manufacturing processes, and we will benefit from their expertise as we improve our volume production capacity."

Quickstep's primary business model for the automotive sector is to produce manufacturing cells and licence its Quickstep Process and RST technology to manufacturers around the world. The company says it is currently in advanced negotiations with an original equipment manufacturer.

Quickstep Holdings (ASX:QHL) operates aerospace manufacturing facilities at Bankstown Airport in Sydney, Australia and is an approved supplier for the international F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme. The company has also been selected by Lockheed Martin as the sole supplier of composite wing flaps for the C-130J 'Hercules' military transport aircraft.