GE Additive and the University of Sydney have signed an agreement to collaborate on establishing Sydney as a global leader in digitally-led metal additive manufacturing.
The 10-year Memorandum of Understanding supports the creation of the first metal additive manufacturing ‘total ecosystem’ in Australia – with the critical technology and people in place to drive commercial and economic opportunity, education, skills and job development, underpinned by a capacity for fundamental research.
Additive Manufacturing uses a digital design to create a three-dimensional object by depositing material as superfine layers in precise geometric shapes. The digital development revolutionises industrial production enabling the creation of lighter, stronger parts and systems with digital efficiency and flexibility. Shapes, sizes and structures can be created that would be impossible using conventional manufacturing.
Under the agreement over ten years GE Additive will invest up to US$1 million annually in research and development at the University to accelerate the adoption of metal additive manufacturing in Australia and the region.
Australia is a strong performer in advanced manufacturing and the University is committed to providing intellectural leadership in this field.
“This MoU builds on the University’s world-class expertise in the disciplines essential to advanced manufacturing such as materials engineering and integrated digital systems,” said Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence.
“By partnering with GE Additive, an industry leader in this area of manufacturing, we can set the agenda for this disruptive technology and ensure that Australia is primed to contribute to this exciting next phase of the industrial revolution.
“The collaboration will drive the research and development needed to learn how this disruption to manufacturing can be harnessed for economic benefit. We are especially delighted that this initiative aligns with our plan to establish a new campus at Parramatta/Westmead, where advanced manufacturing will be a key focus.”
Debbra Rogers, chief commercial officer, GE Additive, said “We were immediately impressed by the University of Sydney’s vision for additive – not just at an academic level, but also because they understand the positive impact this technology can have on Australia’s economy and its workforce in the very near future.”
“Additive requires a completely different way of engineering and thinking. Educating and training current workforces with new skills and also getting more engineers into additive takes time and programs need to be developed over a number of years. The University of Sydney recognises this and that in order to build the right mindset, the right skills, the right materials we need to encourage close collaboration between companies, academia and governments,” she continued.
The MoU comes on the back of the University’s commitment to establish a new 1,000sqm Additive Manufacturing and Advanced Materials Processing research facility that will serve as a focal point for the partnership. The development of this laboratory is the initial phase of a plan to build greater capacity and capability at the Parramatta/Westmead campus.
Professor Simon Ringer, Director of Core Research Facilities at the University of Sydney, said: “This addition to the University’s core research facilities will allow our researchers and research partners to conduct trailblazing fundamental research, and will directly benefit Australian industry, particularly our aerospace, transport, biomedical and defence sectors.
“We are creating an environment for our researchers to explore the limits of what materials can do, how they are structured, and how to make them. Establishing a world-class capability in Darlington/Camperdown is a key first step for our grand plans for Advanced Manufacturing in Paramatta/Westmead.“
The MoU with University of Sydney complements GE Additive‘s global hub-and-spoke strategic approach to research and development. The approach encourages non-competitive partnerships with leading universities and research organisations on joint initiatives. A master research agreement is included in the terms of the MoU and covers three areas:
GE Additive – part of GE (NYSE: GE) is a world leader in additive design and manufacturing, a pioneering process that has the power and potential to transform businesses. Through our integrated offering of additive experts, advanced machines and quality materials, we empower our customers to build innovative new products. Products that solve manufacturing challenges, improve business outcomes and help change the world for the better. GE Additive includes additive machine providers Concept Laser and Arcam EBM; along with additive material provider AP&C.