Modes of interaction with industry
The Centre is managed with the assistance of an Advisory Board which includes members from primary and secondary industries: Mr John Hirst (Nuplex), Mr John Lyons (Dulux), Dr Chris Hudson (food industry consultant), Ms Helen Scott-Orr (NSW Department of Agriculture), Dr Albert Mau (CSIRO Molecular Science), plus A/Prof Perrier, Prof Copeland and Prof Warr, and Prof B Hesketh (Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Sciences and Technology, Sydney University)
Industry use of KCPC facilities
The KCPC has a large range of equipment and facilities for production and analysis of polymers and colloids.
These facilities are often not otherwise available to much Australian industry, and the combination of such equipment is unique in the world. Companies may send samples for analysis, and have contract syntheses undertaken on KCPC pilot-scale reactors. This service also provides expert advice and data interpretation by KCPC personnel on a fee-for-service basis. It also enables industry to test measurement devices and pilot reactors, to see if the company would benefit from their purchase. This provides companies with the means to improve effectiveness and will bootstrap technology transfer.
When industry has a problem that needs solving in a hurry, the KCPC can bring skilled personnel and sophisticated equipment to bear on understanding the problem. Projects can be weeks, months or years. Projects are set up with time-framed milestones over which the industry client has the highest control, and may be costed on a fixed-price basis, a time-and-materials basis, or a combination of the two.
The KCPC staff comprise a powerful consulting group, able to assist in solving problems in a wide range of areas, including polymers and colloids production and formulation, polymer rheology, surfactant technology, pigment dispersion and stabilisation, agricultural chemistry and surface chemistry.
These are grants funded by the Australian Department of Education, Science and Training. They provide generous means of complementing R&D funds from industry for company projects, and are often very attractive to international companies. KCPC staff have extensive experience in obtaining and participating in these grants.
The KCPC has a well-developed protocol for protection of intellectual property, ensuring that the interests of the industry partner, and of the researchers, are all safe-guarded to the satisfaction of all parties.