A research hub, based at the University of Wollongong, to help the steel industry improve innovation and competitiveness, has been officially launched in Canberra.
The facility will bring together scientists and engineers from steel manufacturers and research institutions, in a bid to develop manufacturing processes, innovation in new products, and better ways to get new products to market.
The research hub was announced last December and is funded with $5 million from the Australian Research Council, $5 million from BlueScope, and $2 million from UOW and other partners.
It is being officially launched by industry minister Ian Macfarlane at Parliament House today.
Product innovations named by the university include a project to develop a self-cleaning, anti-microbial organic coating for painted sheet steel, and thin-film solar panels that can be incorporated into roof sheeting.
Research hub director Oscar Gregory, a BlueScope veteran, said the steel industry has faced tough conditions since the global financial crisis.
‘‘Now that the industry is seeing some improvement, it is timely that the steel research hub brings together the combined skills and expertise of university and Industry researchers to transform the Australian industry into a position of sustainability and global competitiveness,’’ he said.
‘‘The hub will be a great example of university research contributing to industry and customer needs.
‘‘The investment by government and industry will accelerate the pursuit of product innovations that puts Australia at the forefront of the global steel industry.’’