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Quickstep Holdings Limited, the manufacturer of high-grade carbon fibre composite components, announced that it has been awarded a grant of $1.76 million from the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund (GRIIF) This is an Australian Government, Victorian Government and Ford Australia funded initiative under the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund.
The grant will assist Quickstep to establish a dedicated automotive division, co-located with Deakin University at their Waurn Ponds campus, Geelong, where the company will benefit from access to composite research and automotive specialists from Deakin and the wider Geelong community. Quickstep will establish a new facility to design and develop Automotive manufacturing cells which will incorporate the innovative Quickstep Process, which uses liquids to cure components, and the Quickstep resin spray transfer (RST) system. The facility will also enable the production of customer prototypes and initial production quantities. Total project expenditure is anticipated to be $5.6 million from now to June 2017 and will create 30 new jobs.Quickstep Executive Chairman, Tony Quick, said: "Having collaborated with Deakin University for over a decade this activity is a key step in our growing relationship. We are capitalising on Deakin’s knowledge of Quickstep and the area's wealth of automotive skills to create a new automotive division associated with the Carbon Nexus facility. This grant will make an important contribution to enable us to build a strong automotive culture and propel Quickstep further into the global automotive market.Carbon Nexus provides access to industry and a team of researchers who have helped to develop new carbon fibres, reduce production costs and speed up manufacturing processes, and we will benefit from their expertise as we improve our volume production capacity."We are grateful to the Australian and Victorian governments and Ford Australia for this funding and for the opportunity it creates to join an innovative cluster of carbon fibre companies and become part of a global centre of excellence in carbon fibre production."The project complements the creation of a carbon fibre composite cluster with Carbon Nexus and Deakin University, which has a significant involvement in composite research. The cluster will be one of only two independent carbon fibre research centres in the world.Deakin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Lee Astheimer, said: “We welcome this strong support for Quickstep, a company we are proud to have a long term partnership with. Deakin has established Carbon Nexus, our open access pilot carbon fibre manufacturing line and research facility, with the aim of developing exactly this kind of working relationship with companies like Quickstep to help create the jobs of the future, for Geelong and Australia. Today’s announcement clearly demonstrates the power that such a world class carbon fibre manufacturing research facility has on driving new industry development.”Quickstep's primary business model for the automotive sector is to produce manufacturing cells and licence its innovative Quickstep Process, which uses liquids to cure components, and RST technology to manufacturers around the world. The company continues to negotiate with the automotive industry on possible contracts, and is in advanced negotiations with an original equipment manufacturer.More information:www.quickstep.com.au