Australian Innovation

Material science technologies

Business leaders were treated to a fascinating insight into the world trends driving innovation and future business opportunities for Australia at the ‘Material Science Technologies – Improving Business Performance’ Innovation Series luncheon in Sydney on the 23rd June 2010. The event was hosted by Zernike Australia in partnership with the Australia Institute for Commercialisation.

Head of the Institute of Materials Engineering at ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation) Professor Lyndon Edwards outlined how material science has transformed work, health and leisure and the challenges and opportunities for the next generation of materials scientists.

Professor Edwards said most modern materials were designed in detail at the atomic level and, while Australia had done well to date, to remain competitive it was critical we continued to invest in top quality research facilities.
Professor Edwards said that Australian businesses could benefit with stronger ties and linkages with knowledge-based organisations - such as cooperative research centres, ANSTO and the CSIRO.

Chief of CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering Dr Calum Drummond, who has a strong interest in the commercialisation of research, presented the key global megatrends and how material science plays a key role.
He said finite resources and space, and a rapidly increasing global population was fuelling the ‘more from less’ imperative, and product lifecycles were shifting from ‘cradle to grave’ to include the need for recycling and waste minimisation.

Dr Drummond said Australia was well positioned in solving some of its national challenges such as limited water and energy resources, and the nation could benefit economically by exporting the resulting technology.
He also stated that Australia’s competitive advantage lay in developing niche, innovative ‘value-add’ products, particularly in preventative health, mining, defence and the ‘green economy’.

International Director of Polymarketing Pty Ltd Michael Turner presented practical strategies to improve business performance and innovation. He stated that waste stream materials could be converted into profitable products through innovation.

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