$500,000 project to create new industry for Geelong

30 August 2013

Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Peter Hall, launched the $500,000 Geelong Future Industry Project (GFIP) at Deakin's Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus today. A key component of the Skilling the Bay initiative, the project has the potential to create an exciting new industry for Geelong.

Following a highly competitive application process, the GFIP funding has been awarded to Cytomatrix. The project is a collaboration between local biotechnology company, Cytomatrix; Geelong based engineering firm, Austeng; and Deakin University. The project will develop a world-first pilot manufacturing plant for the production of short nanofibres.

The project builds on innovative technology in nanofibre manufacturing recently developed by researchers from Cytomatrix and Deakin University. The ultimate aim of the project is to create a new, significant and sustainable nano-manufacturing capability in the Geelong region, and to build new skills to support the emerging and growing industry.

Commenting on the Cytomatrix project, the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Peter Hall, said, “It’s a great example of how Geelong can build on its existing strengths to create new industry opportunities. It shows what can be achieved when industry, Deakin University and The Gordon work together.”

Short nanofibres have exciting properties that lend the technology to a wide range of applications including filtration, medical sciences and biotechnology, environmental science and public health. “The short nanofibre technology is truly world leading and has enormous potential. This project is a great example of innovation in an academic environment being translated into a commercial opportunity to develop and grow a new industry in Geelong,” said the CEO of Cytomatrix, Mark Kirkland.

“This is yet another example of the fantastic nexus of academic research and commerce to produce new industry for the future,” Deakin University Vice-Chancellor, Professor den Hollander said. “It illustrates the importance of educational institutions in the community to equip the region with the skills that will be required for new industry.”

The participation of students from Deakin and The Gordon is an important component of the Cytomatrix project. Cytomatrix will engage undergraduate and postgraduate students from Deakin University, with Austeng engaging vocational training students from The Gordon and engineering students from Deakin.

“This is an exciting initiative, enabling students to be involved with world-leading manufacturing techniques. It’s a great opportunity for The Gordon to work closely with Deakin University and industry on a cutting edge project to deliver industry relevant training for our students,” says Lisa Line, acting CEO of The Gordon.

The Cytomatrix project was chosen following a competitive application process. The project will be delivered over 2013 and 2014. The aim of the project is to:

  • transfer R&D from Deakin University into local industry to generate business opportunities and sustainable employment;
  • provide both TAFE and university students with the opportunity to participate in the project to gain skills and knowledge required for employment in the industry sector; and
  • create a relationship which enhances links between Deakin University, The Gordon and local industry in Geelong to support long-term collaboration, commercialisation and employment growth in the chosen industry sector.

The State Government, through the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Peter Hall, established Skilling the Bay in response to the economic and industry changes impacting Geelong. Implementation of Skilling the Bay is being led by The Gordon, in partnership with Deakin University as well as State and local government.

News facts
  • Minister for Higher Education and Skills announces funding for Geelong Future Industry Project
  • The project will develop a world-first pilot manufacturing plant for producing short nanofibres for use in filtration, medicine and biotechnology
  • It builds on local strengths in Geelong to support an emerging and growing industry

Group photograph at funding announcement

Pictured at the funding announcement, from left, Mark Kirkland, Jane den Hollander, Peter Hall and Greg Leahy (Skilling the Bay Project Manager)

Media contact

Mandi O'Garretty
Deakin Media Relations
03 5227 2776; 0418 361 890

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30th August 2013