The facility is sited on the Windermere Campus University of Waikato, New Zealand. Researchers will test technology for consolidating titanium powders into solid products using low-cost and internationally competitive methods. The facility will also test alloy materials for businesses, focus on skills training, and implement and run a national research and development strategy for titanium.

TiDA was formed about 18 months ago to help firms develop titanium products in the country. The association also helps co-ordinate the titanium industry’s activities in New Zealand and is funded by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, the Tertiary Education Commission and private enterprise.

Development of the facility originated with the work of Titanox Development Ltd, which was established in 1997 to develop market-ready products based on the work led by Waikato University’s Professor Deliang Zhang.
According to TiDA chief executive Warwick Downing, there is potential for titanium to provide a NZ$1 billion industry for the nation, and his organisation plans to help deliver that by working closely with researchers, scientists and businesses that are pushing the boundaries with titanium. The specialised equipment at the Tauranga site will help Waikato University researchers further their work, he says.

“Waikato University is a key partner in the development of the new industry,” Mr Downing says. “The collaboration between industry and research organisations will be a key element to ensure a successful and vibrant industry. Our goal is to put New Zealand companies in the driving seat for technology globally; this is our chance to lead the world.”