The extension of the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures (CRC-ACS) is supported by A$14 million from the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre Program, which provides funding to research ventures between end-users and researchers, and over A$50 million in cash and in-kind support from 28 participating organisations. 9 of the 28 participants are located outside Australia.

By securing a fourth term of CRC funding, CRC-ACS has established itself as the longest continually-running Centre in the history of the CRC Program. It is hoped that continuation of CRC-ACS will allow Australia to take a leading role in composites development, position Australian SMEs prominently amongst international industry, and lead the Australian composites industry into a strong and competitive future.

Objectives

The CRC-ACS Extension Program will aim to:

  • focus on international development of composites and related technology in Australia, using a collaborative research model;
  • facilitate the integration of Australian composites manufacturing, materials supply and engineering support enterprises into international value chains; and
  • bring a range of new technologies to market, including aircraft structure assembly technology, low cost infrastructure repair, and sustainable plant-fibre biocomposites.

The 28 organisations that have joined CRC-ACS include research institutions, materials suppliers, engineering service organisations and end-users. Additional organisations will be invited to join.

EADS Australia Pacific, part of the aerospace manufacturer EADS, will commence its first major R&D programme in Australia through this initiative. The German Aerospace Center DLR will also start its first major composites R&D engagement in Australia.

Support of Australia's defence sector will also be enhanced, by maturing research into health monitoring systems and repair technology, and developing life-saving crash systems for helicopters. Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) will play a major role in the development of these technologies.

The benefits of composites in oil, gas and petrochemical infrastructure expansion and repair will be investigated, and the use of plant fibres in composite materials will be developed, to allow replacement of some composite materials with more sustainable solutions.

“The Centre has had great success in developing Australian technology and making Australia internationally competitive in the field," says Professor Murray Scott, CRC-ACS CEO. "The success of collaborative programmes such as CRC-ACS depends on the engagement of the technology users, and I am very pleased that we have the support of such important multinational organisations in the development of composites technologies. The extension of funding has taken CRC-ACS to an entirely new level of international engagement. We aim to make Australia a preferred destination for composites technology development over the next five years, through its combination of skilled personnel, leading technology and innovative approaches to development and implementation.”

Programme participants

Advanced Composite Structures Australia Pty Ltd
Australian Industry and Defence Network Inc
Australian Institute for Commercialisation
Bishop GmbH
Brenco Aerospace Pty Ltd
Composites Australia Inc.
Composites Innovation Centre Manitoba Inc.
Defence Science and Technology Organisation
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.
EADS Australia Pacific Pty Ltd
Monash University
MSC.Software Australia Pty Ltd
Pacific Engineering Systems International Pty Ltd
PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd
Piber Plastics Pty Ltd
Plasmate JSC
Regina Glass Fibre Pty Ltd
RMIT University
Specialty Composites (Aust) Pty Ltd
Structural Monitoring Systems Ltd
Unique Solution Partners Pty Ltd
University of Auckland
University of Bordeaux
University of New South Wales
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
University of Queensland
University of Southern Queensland
University of Sydney