Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturingaccelerating innovation
Foreword    Victoria has considerable      For several years VCAMM has been supported financially by the Victorian Governm...
VCAMMMaking your business more competitiveVCAMM is the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing. We are a not...
TECHNOLOGYTypical capabilities our research partners                                VCAMM is backed by a consortium of Aus...
Collaborative research networksPart of VCAMM’s role is to help build industry’s innovation capacity and to promote the cap...
CASE STUDYCarbon fibre research facilityto expand industry capabilityTogether with Deakin University and the Victorian Sta...
CASE STUDYAutoHorizon FR1: Fosteringinnovation in the auto industryFor the past nine years, the charitable foundation ‘Aut...
“ o maintain the company’s competitive advantage, we were keen to expand t  its carbon composite component manufacturing c...
BUSINESS PROFILE CASE STUDYCarbon composite researchprovides competitive edgeInvesting in carbon fibre research is helping...
BUSINESS                                                                                                                  ...
Initiation                                                               Selection                                        ...
o VCAMM can also provide experienced project management  services to development teams, which can be particularly         ...
OUR EXPERTISEVCAMM has a dedicated team with many decades of technical and business experience, committed to advancing Aus...
CIRCA Group (L to R),Greg Court,Stephen Lawrence,Dr Warwick Raverty,Tony Duncan“What you need is time and financial suppor...
The initial focus may have been on a productive use for the 1.5BUSINESS PROFILE CASE STUDY                                ...
FINANCEFunding research and development is a major challenge. VCAMM can help your business meet this challenge.Incubation ...
Image courtesy BKK Architectssupported technologiesVCAMM has undertaken key projects, incubated businesses,held shares and...
“The immediate follow on was that VCAMM introduced us to the Victorian  Science Agenda Program and to a collaboration focu...
BUSINESS PROFILE CASE STUDYCollaboration bringsnew growth opportunitiesFrom its origins in 1935 as a supplier to the autom...
Production by www.coretext.com.au        VCAMM Limited      VCAMM Innovation Centre
           551 Burwood Hwy        Knox...
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VCAMM Brochure 2012

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VCAMM Brochure 2012

  1. 1. Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturingaccelerating innovation
  2. 2. Foreword Victoria has considerable For several years VCAMM has been supported financially by the Victorian Government. Our purpose is to skills in advanced assist manufacturing companies connect to Victorian universities and other publically funded R&D activities, materials and advanced manufacturing to “commercialise” the results of research in materials engineering, and to apply advanced materials to new technologies and manufacturing technologies. We have identified emerging market “demand-side” factors, and constructed VCAMM’s role is to provide appropriately qualified teams to meet realistic development milestones. businesses with managed access to this expertise. Innovation is a key driver The time-scale for this work is longer, and often more technologically complex, than most Australian of our economy and VCAMM manufacturing companies can tolerate. The future returns are not easy to calculate by traditional financial will further enhance the valuation techniques, so VCAMM provides a bridge between available early venture-capital funding and ability for our local manufacturing in-house company funding. In Australia, we have virtually no sources of early stage start-up, or angel/seed businesses to innovate. funding, and we have very few people able to manage the evolution of technology into stable companies. Hon. Richard Dalla-Riva MLC, Minister for Manufacturing, VCAMM has been able to provide this type of patient Exports and Trade, Victoria finance for appropriately researched ventures with market potential, and staff who are proving adept at managing the many challenges. We greatly appreciate the foresight of the Victorian Government in recognising the risk of market failure in our emerging high- technology manufacturing industries. Support for the VCAMM Innovation Centre at Knoxfield has been vital in allowing the development of several fledgling companies, with brilliant local technologies and will be key to our future accelerating innovation. Brad Dunstan, Dr Colin Adam, VCAMM Chief Executive Officer VCAMM Chairman and Independent Director2
  3. 3. VCAMMMaking your business more competitiveVCAMM is the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing. We are a not-for-profit company We help businesses deliver on key elementsestablished specifically to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the state and the national for success including:advanced manufacturing industries through orchestrating innovation and development of leading TECHNOLOGYbusinesses and technologies. o Developing a business case for research investment o Establishing product and process needs Government: o Identifying technical research and development requirements innovation –drivenOur mission is to help Australian manufacturing industry o Identifying and engaging the right research partnersbusinesses develop new ideas, solve problems, RD: o Designing and managing research projectsfind new markets and partners, and attract industry partners o Technology development and IP managementinvestment. VCAMM was formed in 2002,and we are backed by a consortium of BUSINESSleading public research and development Start-Ups: o B2B orchestration and technology transferorganisations, with support from incubation investment o Strategic and business planninggovernment. o Identifying potential business partners o Market development for new technology or innovationsVCAMM also provides a wider role in the o Mentoring and specialist manufacturing business managementdevelopment of strategic capability withinthe Australian advanced materials and VCAMM Investors: and operational advice o Access to industry research, business, government and Technology, portfolio of BUSINESS opportunities investment networks Financial support o Incubation and space for new businesses or new projects at the VCAMM Innovation Centre o Commercialisation of innovations and intellectual property Strategic Infrastructure: Innovators: Large Corporates: catalyse new industry FINANCE skills resources support for spin off IP o Providing pre-seed and incubation funding o Assistance sourcing and applying for government grants o Matching businesses with potential industry-based or Manufacturing independent investors Firms: project support o Conducting financial evaluations and due diligence tests or reports 3
  4. 4. TECHNOLOGYTypical capabilities our research partners VCAMM is backed by a consortium of Australia’s leading materials and manufacturing focused research organisationscan provide include a broad range of including Deakin University, La Trobe University, Monash University and Swinburne University of Technology.engineering consulting and research services,with expertise in materials testing, materials With our consortium partners we can help businesses to access the world-class expertise and facilities thatdevelopment and process development: these organisations offer. This includes some of the most advanced technologies and research science availableo A range of engineering capabilities from materials characterisation in Australia as part of engineering, materials and science related faculties and multiple centres of excellence. It to mechanical testing and design, through to aerospace and civil also includes access to business schools and the extensive international research and development networks of engineering expertise. Specialisation in nano-structured materials, consortium members. with the knowledge required to take advantage of nano-structural manipulation of materials for large scale, application-specific Each research partner has different strengths and is recognised as a world-leader in its specific fields of expertise. tailoring of properties. The differences between the research capacities provided by each can be subtle, but can have a profound impacto In-depth experience in modelling and stress analysis for on the outcomes of a project. Our experience allows us to help identify the most relevant research partner or components, mechanisms and production methods. This partners for your specific project. This may mean coordinating the resources of multiple institutions. expertise crosses all of the materials boundaries (composites, ceramics, metals and polymers) and extends, in scale, VCAMM’s consortium partners are the first port of call for research needs, but we also have access to other from materials and materials interface investigation and research organisations and networks, both nationally and internationally. manipulation to full production modelling and factory layout analysis.o Advanced surface analysis, both topographical and chemical, with the ability to discern surface properties down to the nano- metre scale. The capability to modify surfaces at the nano- scale, improving the properties of films, adhesion layers, and even assisting in the forensic sciences. Researchers can tailor surfaces to demonstrate a range of specific characteristics.o Advanced manufacturing techniques. These include development of rapid production using laser technology and non-contact measurement of surface contours.o A full suite of testing equipment for analysing engineering components, under a range of conditions and simulations.4
  5. 5. Collaborative research networksPart of VCAMM’s role is to help build industry’s innovation capacity and to promote the capabilities of Defence Materials Technology CentreAustralian advanced manufacturing and materials industries. To this end we have helped to establish two (DMTC)cooperative research centres (CRCs), which enhance national research collaborations and links with industry. VCAMM is also a member of the Defence Materials TechnologyOur active participation in these centres and other collaborations provides individual businesses with an Centre (DMTC). The DMTC aims to develop and deliveraccess portal, which allows them to participate in large federally funded initiatives to conduct research new materials technologies and manufacturing processesprojects and access new technologies that they would be otherwise unable to access. specifically to enhance Australia’s Defence capability. It involves collaboration between Defence, defence industry and research agencies. Projects a focused into five areas: airAdvanced Automotive Technology CRC Advanced Manufacturing CRC platforms, maritime platforms, armour applications, propulsion(AutoCRC) (AMCRC) systems and personnel survivability. DMTC project outcomes include increasing strength, payload capacity and operatingVCAMM helped establish AutoCRC with the aim of enhancing VCAMM is a founding member of the AMCRC, created to range of equipment, improving performance and durability ofthe viability and sustainability of the Australian automotive support the development of knowledge-based, high value, equipment, increasing efficiency in production, reducing costsindustry. Design and modelling research will help to increase globally competitive and sustainable manufacturing businesses. and waste and customising equipment for specific Australianthe rate of product and process innovation, reduce design Research areas include advanced materials, next generation conditions. VCAMM is working with DMTC on a number ofand development times, improve the quality of products manufacturing processes and knowledge-based business projects to develop new technologies for a number of Australianand accuracy of processes, and reduce the time it takes to practice for manufacturing sectors. Industry sectors involved Businesses.get products to market. Reduced concept-to-product cycle include aerospace, biomedical, defence, energy, equipmenttime represents a paradigm shift in process and production manufacture, fine chemicals and mining. Through the AMCRC Australian Future Fibres Research andmethodologies, aimed at improving manufacturing flexibility and VCAMM can help businesses develop greener technologies for Innovation Centre (AFFRIC)efficiency and developing new material systems to meet the their manufacturing processes, supporting more flexible andautomotive challenges of weight reduction, increased safety sustainable operations. VCAMM is a partner in the world-leading Australian Futureand enhanced functionality. VCAMM can access research Fibres Research and Innovation Centre (AFFRIC) in Geelong. Theand industry partners through the AutoCRC. centre is building Australia’s carbon fibre and advanced textile Did you know? research capabilities to support innovation in the automotive, VCAMM is also a member of a number aeronautical and protective clothing industries. Research will of well respected focus on a range of innovative materials including nanomaterials, international research smart fibrous materials, green natural fibres and carbon fibre. collaborations. 5
  6. 6. CASE STUDYCarbon fibre research facilityto expand industry capabilityTogether with Deakin University and the Victorian State Deakin University’s Centre for Material and Fibre Innovation facility anywhere in the world. It will be capable of producingGovernment, VCAMM is leading a strategic investment of $25 (CMFI) already has an international reputation in advanced commercial quantities of aerospace quality carbon fibre.million to establish the Australian Carbon Fibre Research Facility composites and fibre research with extensive partnerships with(ACFRF) in Geelong. The ACFRF is a world first university the aerospace and automotive sectors. CSIRO brings expertise The research facility will make the region attractive for carbonconnected open access research and development pilot plant and equipment in commercially critical areas such as 3D fibre commercial production and manufacturing products suchto support the growth of new carbon fibre based businesses in weaving and surface finishing. as airplane fuselages and blades for wind turbines. It is expectedAustralia. to be operational in 2012, and to generate more than $1 million a Exceptionally strong and light, carbon fibre is a defining material year in research income from industry within five years.The ACFRF is part of the larger $100M Australian Future Fibre for 21st century manufacturing. Research to extend its properties,Research and Innovation Centre (AFFRIC) which is expected functionality and production is undeveloped globally. Through its links with global aerospace and automotiveto create an international hub for fibre science and materials companies who will use the facility, VCAMM is well placed toresearch and build national capacity in the carbon fibre industry. By leveraging the combined expertise and equipment of help Australian businesses evolve into carbon fibre compositeThe centre is being established at Deakin University in Waurn the partners, the facility will offer an institutionally-based, manufacturers and to help introduce them into the global supplyPonds as part of the Geelong Technology Precinct and is co- industrial-scale carbon fibre capability. There is no equivalent chain.located with CSIRO’s textile and fibre facilities. It will provideaccess to industrial and pilot-scale facilities to translate researchinto end-user applications.Deakin University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research),Professor Lee Astheimer said the centre will bring togetherAustralia’s foremost fibre and manufacturing scientists.Using sophisticated equipment and with strong commercial Did you know?partnerships, the centre will be recognised as an international It is expected toleader in new materials industries. be operational in 2012, and to generate more than $1 million a year in research income from industry.6
  7. 7. CASE STUDYAutoHorizon FR1: Fosteringinnovation in the auto industryFor the past nine years, the charitable foundation ‘AutoHorizon,’ VCAMM and Bellmont Nominees developed low cost tooling actuated front in-wheel hub suspension ensure the lightweighthas been developing the FR-1 concept vehicle – a one-off, hand for the carbon fibre tub capable of producing parts with minimal chassis stays on the road.crafted, high performance vehicle that showcases Australian temperature distortion and a class ‘A’ standard surface finish.automotive design and manufacturing. The chassis was laid-up in two moulds, and bonded together All of this technology is covered by a hand crafted aluminium using aerospace-grade, high strength adhesives and curing was skin, coach-built using a wooden buck and traditional coachIt is also being used to develop and design related study conducted at Boeing in Port Melbourne. building techniques.programs for secondary, TAFE and tertiary students, to encouragestudents to consider automotive design and manufacturing FR-1 is powered by a mid-mounted Holden V8 engine. This FR-1 will be auctioned, with all proceeds being donated to fourrelated careers. The vehicle has the hot-rod styling of the is mated to a Ferrari 355 transmission and along with the children’s charities.Roadsters of the 1930s. It was designed with assistance from suspension is carried on chromoly subframes mounted to theGM-Holden and built at the Automotive Centre of Excellence carbon fibre chassis. The FR-1 project is expected to be completed in 2012.(ACE) in Melbourne, under the direction of Brian Tanti, curator of For more information on the FR-1 project, pleasethe world class Fox Collection of classic vehicles at Docklands. Supplied by Diver Consolidated Industries the unequal length, visit: www.conceptfr1.com. Did you know? double wishbone rear suspension and a unique hydraulically The FR-1 carbonVCAMM is one of 90 sponsors for the project and has made a fibre chassis is the first composite chassismajor contribution with full time engineering staff leading the built in Australia!engineering of the vehicle including the design and constructionof the carbon fibre composite monocoque chassis.The carbon fibre ‘tub’ weighs around 80kg, and showcasesseveral new composite technologies developed locally. Theseinclude a low temperature, out-of-autoclave curable carbonfibre prepreg, suitable for high strength applications, which wasprovided by GMS Composites. This newly formulated materialis oven-cured under vacuum pressure and provides comparablestrength to autoclave-cured materials, without the costsassociated with running an autoclave. 7
  8. 8. “ o maintain the company’s competitive advantage, we were keen to expand t its carbon composite component manufacturing capabilities and sought VCAMM’s help to undertake a research and development program.”Al D’Alberto, Bellmont Nominess8
  9. 9. BUSINESS PROFILE CASE STUDYCarbon composite researchprovides competitive edgeInvesting in carbon fibre research is helping Bellmont Nominees requirements. Its research and development program tested The payback period for the research and development, and theto convert its business from high-volumes of low-technology out-of-autoclave forming with the Quickstep system. new tooling and equipment required to produce the new carbonautomotive components towards a low volume-high value model. composite component is 32 months. Mr D’Alberto says within VCAMM was able to link Bellmont with research opportunities five years of adopting the new system he expects the return onThe business is a privately owned engineering, painting and available through Cooperative Research Centre funding. investment to be substantial.composites company that has been operating in Victoria formore than 30 years and is an integral supplier to the automotive Being a small company, Bellmont would have been stretchedand truck industries. to undertake a project as extensive as the one embarked on Did you know? Carbon fibre is 3 times through the AMCRC. VCAMM also helped to secure Victorian as strong and 4 timesBellmont already has a reputation for flexibility and innovation, Government funding to assist with the research, which began in lighter than steel.specialising in exterior vehicle components in a variety of 2008.materials that require an A class surface finish. Its core businesshas been the supply of painted and assembled parts: front and Mr D’Alberto says there is no doubt that VCAMM’s assistance inrear bumpers, side skirts and spoilers, as well as truck cabs, putting together the opportunity and the support of the Victorianfairings, and skirts. Government cemented the go-ahead for this project. AT A GLANCEManaging Director Al D’Alberto says that to maintain the Apart from brokering the project, VCAMM has been involved Company: Bellmont Nominees, Kilsyth, Victoriacompany’s competitive advantage, it was keen to expand its in project managing the whole activity, acting as the liaison Industry: Automotive component and compositecarbon composite component manufacturing capabilities and between Bellmont, and the research provider, Deakin University. materials manufacturingsought VCAMM’s help to undertake a research and development Deakin’s role has been to carry out research and development Summary: An automotive componentprogram. of new carbon fibre automotive components, working alongside manufacturer invests in a research partnership to engineers and technicians at Bellmont Nominees. This work develop new carbon fibre composite manufacturingHe said they wanted to evaluate whether out-of-autoclave includes investigation into new composite materials, curing capabilities that will allow it to diversify and remainforming could reliably produce complex composite automotive techniques, tooling, design for manufacture, and the required competitive.components such as front fenders and bonnet scoops, while A-class surface finish. VCAMM assistance: Brokering research, securingmeeting quality, surface finish, manufacturing speed and cost RD grant funding for research, research project management 9
  10. 10. BUSINESS Characteristics of knowledge basedKnowledge-based manufacturing manufacturing businesses*:Manufacturing in Australia is under immense pressure – squeezed between declining prices and the rising cost o Self-sustaining innovation permits efficient uptake of newof raw materials. There is less and less room to manoeuvre between operating costs and profits. technologies in parallel to the development of new products – thereby reducing time to market;Supply chain management improvements and lean manufacturing strategies are critical for survival but are no o Much closer coordination exists between the demand andlonger enough in a dynamic global environment to ensure a sustainable and prosperous business. supply sides o Sharing of knowledge within and between organisationsAcross the developed world manufacturing is increasingly moving to an innovation-driven economic model. becomes the norm;Competitive performance depends less on input costs and production efficiencies and more on the capacity to o Supply chains take the form of flexible collaborations, networksefficiently and sustainably produce innovative, leading-edge technology goods and services. of specialised small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and ‘virtual enterprises’;Knowledge management, value networks and intercompany collaboration provide the basis of the agility o Well-defined work procedures and specifications arebusinesses need in an innovation economy to continuously and reliably develop high-value integrated products commonly used to maximise efficiency;and services. These collaborative mechanisms can be provided through VCAMM. o Social, environmental and economic considerations get equal weight in decision making; andVCAMM provides tailored assistance along the innovation spectrum and can help connect firms with appropriate o Provision of services, rather than the outright supply of goods,expertise to assist with business strategy, planning and knowledge-process improvements. facilitates * Definition from Manufuture EU initiative, wwwmanufuture.org Initiation Selection Development Production Market Realisation Innovation Processes Innovator VCAMM Research Institutions Government Industry Partners Investors10
  11. 11. Initiation Selection DevelopmentInnovation requires the right environment to thrive; new ideas can Generating interesting ideas is one thing. Developing them into Implementing a technology-based innovation is a businessbe fragile. Customer needs must be matched with technological a commercial proposal with a verified, viable business case investment. In some ways it is similar to purchasing a new piececapabilities, and a framework is needed to articulate and build and getting the commitment of key resources is quite another. of plant or equipment, but the risks and returns are much greater.substance into the innovative concept. Inevitably, firms and key collaborating organisations have a Failing to invest in innovation or investing poorly can lead to portfolio of opportunities competing for investment of time, long- term decline; success leads to sustainable prosperity ando VCAMM provides a framework and culture for innovation through resources and money. provides a base for ongoing growth. its regular dialogue and activities with a broad network of industry and research associates and through the VCAMM Innovation Priority should always go to innovations that are thoroughly Innovation investments include modelling, prototyping, validation Centre, which provides an environment for repeated innovative assessed and well planned, presenting a sound business and field testing in the development of new products and engagement. case for investment. In many cases, this requires preliminary processes. The rewards may be substantial but the considerableo In particular, VCAMM conducts ongoing campaigns involving both investigations or feasibility studies to establish technical and investment required to investigate an uncertain outcome can individual communications and broader forums to raise awareness of commercial feasibility and eliminate significant uncertainties. make the decision to invest in innovation more difficult than the new technologies and trends and to connect capabilities, skills and These studies may be beyond the capabilities of the innovator decision to invest in infrastructure or equipment. resources around commercial opportunities. alone and they also require the involvement of key customers,o VCAMM also initiates technology-based opportunities where these suppliers and technology experts. Being able to leverage this investment with contributions provide a strategic platform around which a variety of businesses from collaborating partners and/or government grants can can engage and prosper. o VCAMM can help firms and technology entrepreneurs develop their make the difference to whether a project proceeds or not. Theo Initial consultations with VCAMM is generally free and our staff business model and commericalisation strategy including selection most successful outcomes come from teams that incorporate are always keen to meet with firms and explore needs, issues of critical partners, identifying sources for key resources and funding specific expertise and perspectives across business functions and opportunities to leverage skills and build pathways to options. and between organisations in a reliable process, and from commercialising innovative technology. o VCAMM can help evaluate technical and commercial feasibility. In development processes that engage customers and incorporate some cases this may require access to expertise from collaborating their feedback. firms or research institutions. It may also require access to experimental facilities or manufacturing space which VCAMM can o VCAMM offers a variety of services to firms in the implementation of support through the Innovation Centre or through partner research technology innovations, including case management (for organisations. government grants and programs) and regular project evaluation o The work required to get stakeholders to formally commit to as well as connections with experienced, skilled resources and proceeding with a technology innovation initiative can vary service providers substantially. In many cases, VCAMM services in this area can be o VCAMM is able to host development teams at the VCAMM provided through leveraging government programs. In some cases, Innovation Centre where they are co-located with other innovative a contribution to feasibility project costs may be required from ventures and able to access a variety of resources and expertise. participants. 11
  12. 12. o VCAMM can also provide experienced project management services to development teams, which can be particularly Market realisation valuable in projects requiring coordinated activity across multiple organisations. As production investments ramp up, it is essential that theo Innovators may be able to access financial support through sales strategies and resources, including personnel, are in place VCAMM’s involvement in several cooperative research centres to ensure secure sales and service markets. As the business or through co-investment in initiatives by VCAMM directly or via becomes profitable and grows, market feedback should be partners leveraged to recommend refinements and new generations of the innovation.Production o Firms can leverage VCAMM’s local and international networks and VCAMM Innovation Centre, Knoxfield advocacy to support effective marketing, procurement and sales VCAMM’s Innovation Centre at Knoxfield is designed toIn parallel with the implementation of an innovation project, operations. support the incubation of business start-ups, providing spaceand the ramping up of operations, additional investment is also o VCAMM project management services and other supports, and ongoing mentoring and access to business supportrequired to provide the infrastructure to deliver the products and including financial assistance are usually phased down as the services and technical expertise.services to the market. This new Centre provides a focal point for advanced engineering projects in a flexible environment. It caters forThis might involve retooling for production. In the case of a mix of industry and research collaborations, from smalladvanced technology projects it might also involve reconfiguring start-up companies to project teams from larger establishedor rebuilding organisational structures and commercial organisations.agreements. An important element of the Centre is the potential for interaction between different businesses and sectors of theFor new business start-ups, the organisation itself must be advanced materials and manufacturing industry, allowingestablished and scaled up. It is at this stage that new enterprises enterprises to develop globally relevant new technologies inare most vulnerable as expenditure peaks prior to the scale-up of a unique incubative environment.revenue inflows. VCAMM Innovation Centre provides comprehensive business incubation support to technology based start-ups:o VCAMM can facilitate connections to customers, suppliers, co- o flexible office/factory space and terms investors and co-funders, which can often be critical to enterprises o staged financial support at this stage of the innovation cycle. o facilitated process and networko The VCAMM Innovation Centre and research consortium partner It also provides a collaborative facility and operating facilities may also be available to establish full-scale pilot production framework that will allow businesses to work on projects lines under the scrutiny of development teams prior to transferring with university researchers and the Centre’s technology staff to permanent locations. together as a team.12
  13. 13. OUR EXPERTISEVCAMM has a dedicated team with many decades of technical and business experience, committed to advancing Australia’sadvanced materials and manufacturing capacity and competitiveness. Key staff who provide the liaison between clients,research providers, industry, government and investors include the following.Brad Dunstan David Owen Iain Ralph Lisa RatcliffeChief Executive Officer General Manager Enterprise Development Manager Commercial ManagerBSc BEng(Mech), Grad Dip Mil Av, MAICD B.Eng (Mech) 1st Class Hons B.Eng (Mech), MBA (Tech Management) Assoc Dip Accounting, B.A.Adjunct Professor (Deakin University)Brad has provided leadership for VCAMM since its inception in David is responsible for the day to day operations of VCAMM including Iain is responsible for promoting VCAMM’s Innovation Centre, Lisa Ratcliffe is VCAMM’s company secretary, but with2002, and has been instrumental in technology research project management and commercialisation identifying and working with firms who may benefit from the extensive experience in finance, administration and corporategrowing an entrepreneurial organisation focused on building activities. He has more than 25 years of experience within the facilities and services offered at our Knoxfield location. He also government she is able to act as a mentor for start-upinnovation capability in the local manufacturing industry. manufacturing industry. He has a wealth of knowledge in product helps clients to commercialise their activities, whether that businesses as they establish their business and complianceBrad has helped create new and exciting opportunities such as development, operational and financial management and business be new start-up businesses and technologies or refinement of structures.new cooperative research centres and the Australian Carbon strategy, gained both in Australia and overseas, experience that offers existing technologies and processes. Lisa has more than 20 years of experience in accounting andFibre Research Facility. He plays an important role in promoting significant value for clients. Prior to joining VCAMM, David held senior With a background in a variety of industry and consulting the financial sector, working with the major accountancy firmVictorian and Australian advanced manufacturing capability in positions in industry working with Holden Special Vehicles and a roles, Iain has been responsible for business process Bird Cameron, roles as senior financial manager in privateboth national and international forums. Brad has a background number of Fortune 500 manufacturing companies (General Motors, improvement, general management, business development, enterprise and with the Victorian State Government. Morein science, engineering and senior management. Brads career General Electric, BorgWarner), and he has served on the boards of product development, manufacturing and management of RD recently, she was the Finance Manager for the Internationalhas involved operational roles in the Royal Australian Air Force several manufacturing and tech start-up companies. portfolios. Fibre Centre and has extensive experience in the not-for-profitand senior positions within the Australian automotive industry He has a solid understanding and passion for business, sector. As VCAMM’s commercial manager, Lisa overseeswith General Motors and Holden Special Vehicles where he was entrepreneurship and the management of innovation as and directs all significant aspects of VCAMM’s finance,Chief Engineer before moving to VCAMM. Brad is a councillor the foundation for building viable, profitable manufacturing administration, accounting, treasury, risk management andon the Federal Government’s Future Manufacturing Industry enterprises. financial compliance operations as well as leading a financialInnovation Council (FMIIC) and member of the Victorian team providing support services to a number of start-up andGovernment’s Small Business Advisory Council where he VCAMM incubated businesses.leads the Manufacturing Working Group. He is also a directoron the boards of a number of advanced manufacturing relatedbusinesses and the Advanced Manufacturing CooperativeResearch Centre. 13
  14. 14. CIRCA Group (L to R),Greg Court,Stephen Lawrence,Dr Warwick Raverty,Tony Duncan“What you need is time and financial support to bring an idea through to commercialisation. Governments are generally risk adverse, and it can be a challenge to attract independent investors with a new technology, untested inthe markeT place. This is where VCAMM can help.” Tony Duncan, Circa Pty Ltd14
  15. 15. The initial focus may have been on a productive use for the 1.5BUSINESS PROFILE CASE STUDY million tonnes of paper that ends up in Australian landfill eachSeed funding and support year, but the emerging technology has significant international potential to produce valuable chemicals from a range of otherfor cellulose technology cellulose-based wastes. VCAMM is also helping Circa to make new investment and market contacts through its extensive networks and Tony saysIt has been more than a six-year journey for the trio of inventors tests producing one kilogram of chemicals a day to a larger efforts are beginning to pay off. VCAMM introduced Circa tobehind a breakthrough cellulose recycling process. They have proof-of-concept assembly line producing 10kgs a day, and are a Victorian manufacturing company looking to diversify andcreated a new thermochemical process known as Furafuel that commissioning a pilot plant, which will convert 100kgs a day. helped broker an agreement between the organisations to allowconverts waste products such as paper and straw into valuable the manufacture of the first industrial scale unit with minimalindustrial and pharmaceutical chemicals. The resulting products “Often, when you are looking for early stage investors, investment from both sides. Chinese investors are among thoseprovide an alternative to petro-chemical based ingredients used the cash to equity trade-off can be crippling, but VCAMM has showing the strongest interest in the Furafuel system becausein a wide range of products from medicines to agrichemicals, been very supportive and we were able to negotiate an equity it offers a modular, scalable design and the process can besolvents and polymers. deal that allowed us to stay in charge of the business we operated by local expertise. This means it can be established founded,” Tony says. where the fuel stocks are located, rather than having to transportThe developers are Tony Duncan, Dr Warwick Raverty and Greg fuel stocks to a central location.Court. All three have decades of experience in the paper industry. VCAMM has been a shareholder in CIRCA since 2010. It hasTogether, with a small number of co-investors, they formed also provided a new location for CIRCA that includes office and It is energy self-sufficient, does not need to generate a strongCirca Group Pty Ltd to develop and market their new process laboratory space at the VCAMM Innovation Centre in Knoxfield. vacuum, can tolerate variable moisture levels in its feed stocks,and products. Circa CEO Tony Duncan says the period between and does not use food products as fuel stocks as some biofuelsdeveloping the process and scaling it up to a commercial level has “Before we were in a small factory by ourselves. It is good to do. The process actually produces water, and also char, whichbeen a difficult one for the company, as it is for many start-ups. have space in an office that provides support services, and where could potentially be used as a soil conditioner. there are other people around to interact with. It’s also a relief“What you need is time and financial support to bring an idea to go back to developing our business instead of worrying aboutthrough to commercialisation. Governments are generally risk whether there’s a leak in the roof that needs fixing,” Tony says. AT A GLANCEaverse, and it can be a challenge to attract independent investors Business: Circa Group Pty Ltd, Knoxfield, Victoriawith a new technology, untested in the market place,” he says. Business support provided by VCAMM includes an assessment Industry: Chemical manufacturing of the company’s corporate governance processes. Tony says it Summary: A start-up company with a break-The three founders of the Circa Group had already done the hard has put more rigour into business management practices, and through proprietary thermochemical technologywork in developing and verifying a new chemical process when this would help give other potential investors more confidence in adding value to cellulose feedstocks such as wastethey first approached VCAMM for assistance. Through VCAMM, the soundness of the business. VCAMM Enterprise Development paper, finds a home base with VCAMMCirca has been able to source seed funding that has allowed Manager Iain Ralph says the CIRCA technology has some amazing VCAMM assistance: Office facilities, businessit to continue to scale up its Furafuel process from laboratory potential particularly given its positive environmental footprint. development and networking, seed funding. 15
  16. 16. FINANCEFunding research and development is a major challenge. VCAMM can help your business meet this challenge.Incubation funding Government grants IP evaluationsVCAMM operates an Incubator Support Fund to seed advanced VCAMM has a thorough understanding of State and Federal Investment at all levels requires rigorous technology andtechnology manufacturing start-ups and early stage enterprises. Government funding and grant opportunities – a critical area for opportunity evaluations and due diligence reports to assessIf a piece of intellectual property shows commercial promise, small organisations faced with the sizeable development costs the risk and provide confidence to investors. VCAMM hasVCAMM can invest in and develop that idea, re-investing royalties that precede commercialisation. the expertise in technical assessment of intellectual propertyinto other business partnerships. to support business case development, technology portfolio We help identify and leverage the opportunities that exist in planning and financial decison making.The fund provides seed capital to: public funding; we offer assistance to businesses in identifyingo entrepreneurial ventures spun-out from VCAMM’s consortium opportunities and in grant application requirements; we liaise with partners and other research organisations State and Federal Governments. Direct investmento independent ventures in advanced manufacturing and material technology fields, either start-ups or corporate spin-off initiatives. Identifying potential opportunities in the science sector for industry and independent investors can be a challenge for the uninitiated.An independent investment board is used to assess and VCAMM can connect businesses to potential third party investors. Wemake investment decisions and VACMM’s management and have a strong relationship with the venture capital community andadministrative staff closely monitor the investments and work our proposals attract the serious consideration of potential investors.with businesses to achieve agreed outcomes. Potential investors may also be other businesses with complementary interests considering investment through a business partnershipVCAMM may also become a co-investor in a new business by carrying arrangement. All investment partnerships are treated asout work ‘at cost’, in return for royalties or equity. Did you know? commercial in confidence. Direct investment partnerships VCAMM has been successful in raising over include an exit strategy to ensure that future financial $100 million in state structures are not impeded. and federal funds for its technology partners.16
  17. 17. Image courtesy BKK Architectssupported technologiesVCAMM has undertaken key projects, incubated businesses,held shares and invested in a number of advanced technology companies including:Cell Growth Scaffolds – CytomatrixSurface Wear Coatings – HARD TechnologiesCarbon Fibre Process – Quickstep TechnologiesArmour Tech – Australian Defence Apparel (ADA)Automotive Carbon Fibre – Bellmont CompositesNanotechnology – Micronisers Creating a Fab-LabFluid mixing – Tasweld Engineering In the future the VCAMM Innovation Centre expects to hostTyre Recycling – VR-TEK a ‘Fab Lab’ – a concept created by MIT in the United States.Rapid Fluid Heating - MicroHeat Technologies The global network of local not-for-profit labs has alreadyBiomass and high value chemicals – Circa Group been established in 16 countries around the world.Carbon Fibre Structures - AutoHorizon FR1 A Fab Lab creates a shared space for research, invention,Continuous Enhancement of Sheet Metal Alloys - CECAP problem solving, learning new skills and collaboration. ItSolid Oxide Fuel Cell Technology - Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd Amsterdam Fab Lab at The Waag Society provides access to tools for digital fabrication – tools oftenDendrimer Nanotechnology Products - Starpharma only available in commercial-scale organisations.Anti-cancer Therapeutics - Prima Biomed Equipment available in Fab Labs generally includes an array ofX-ray Phase Contrast Imaging Technology - Xray Technologies flexible computer controlled tools that cover several different length scales and various materials, with the aim to make almost anything. Commercial activities and new enterprises can be incubated through access to a Fab Lab’s equipment, although the lab remains essentially an open access venue. 17
  18. 18. “The immediate follow on was that VCAMM introduced us to the Victorian Science Agenda Program and to a collaboration focused on producing new technologies for bushfire protection”Jim Griffin, Diver Consolidated Industries18
  19. 19. BUSINESS PROFILE CASE STUDYCollaboration bringsnew growth opportunitiesFrom its origins in 1935 as a supplier to the automotive industry, Diver had capability in advanced metal stamping and fabrication, “We worked with VCAMM and could see that our advancedthe family-owned engineering firm Diver Consolidated Industries suitable for production of components such as electrodes, as well automotive heat shield materials would ideally be suitedhas recently diversified its interests to ensure a future that is less as subsystem assembly. to applications for both domestic dwellings. As a result ofreliant on a shrinking local automotive industry. significant testing and development we have been able to “VCAMM also saw the immediate opportunity for us to supply develop new radiant heat protective window curtains for use onDiver Consolidated Industries had sought VCAMM’s help to metal stampings to help with their electrodes, which are a core houses and buildings.identify technical and business opportunities that would allow part of the technology, and to extend that involvement over time,”it to diversify and value-add to its core capabilities to reduce the Jim says. “We also saw that we could help MicroHeat with There are a number of new opportunities for Diver on the horizonexposure to automotive and find new growth sectors. some product design and engineering support as well as part including looking at emerging carbon fibre manufacturing. Jim manufacture.” points to the value of ongoing business relationships, notingDiver CEO Jim Griffin says economic conditions were affecting “without VCAMM’s counsel we wouldn’t have felt comfortablethe engineering business. Markets for their core services were Jim says that while Diver won’t be supplying MicroHeat in taking the position we have.”contracting and sales volumes halved, which forced them to the short term there have been a number of opportunitiesdownsize parts of the business. for collaboration and a significant shift in the Diver’s business approach as a result.“At the same time we were on the lookout for opportunities thatwould complement our own, where we could bring our expertise “If VCAMM didn’t understand our needs, then the relationshipand financial muscle together with our export experience and with MicroHeat Technologies would not have happened,” he says. AT A GLANCEnetworks for mutual benefit,” Jim says. “Our engagement took us outside our normal area of business, Business: Diver Consolidated Industries, Reservoir, and has caused us to look at new opportunities that fit our and MicroHeat Technologies, Ferntree Gully, VictoriaVCAMM initially identified the opportunity to provide stamped strategic objectives but still draw upon our key competencies to Industry: Metal manufacturing and engineeringmetal plates for MicroHeat’s new highly advanced systems develop new products and expand our business. Summary: A family owned metal fabricationfor rapid heating of fluids for both domestic and industrial company diversifies with development of newapplications. The new technology, protected by a family of patents “The immediate follow on was that VCAMM introduced us to the technologies and venture in new sectors.in more than 52 countries, saves energy, water and greenhouse Victorian Science Agenda Program and to a collaboration focused VCAMM assistance: Analysis of compatiblegas emissions, and has enormous global potential, particularly in on producing new technologies for bushfire protection”. technologies and investment opportunities –the developing green economy. business matching 19
  20. 20. Production by www.coretext.com.au VCAMM Limited VCAMM Innovation Centre
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