Vic gov launches new industrial innovation hub

Photo courtesy of Vaughan Constructions.

The Victoria government has officially launched a new industrial innovation and accelerator hub, titled ManuFutures, at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus in Geelong, to focus on advanced manufacturing research and development.

According to a media release by the Victoria government, ManuFutures will support up to 15 commercial enterprises and 150 people working in advanced manufacturing industries ranging from start-ups to global corporations.

The $13 million facility will focus on creating new products and driving the region’s transition to advanced manufacturing by leveraging Deakin University’s industry-focused research expertise.

Appointed under a design and construct contract, Vaughan Constructions delivered the purpose-built facility, that includes a flexible manufacturing production space, lab space, serviced offices, reception, and meeting areas.

Tenants will also benefit from co-location with Deakin University and have access to research teams, student placement programs, specialist technologies and equipment through various Deakin centres.

So far, seven tenants have been secured, including Insight Engineering, HeiQ, Flaim Systems, Partington Advanced Engineering, FormFlow, Conflux Technology and The Smart Think.

The Victoria government, that invested $3 million towards the project from the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, is hoping the facility will attract private investment, boost commercial returns from research for advanced manufacturing enterprises, and drive the Barwon Region’s transition to high tech, smart manufacturing.

The state minister for regional development Jaala Pulford joined member for Geelong Christine Couzens in officially opening ManuFutures on Monday.

“Geelong has a strong manufacturing future, and with the opening of ManuFutures, it shows a real vote of confidence in Geelong as it embraces hi-tech and innovative manufacturers,” the minister said.

“The project will create jobs, boost commercial returns from research, and act as an investment attractor for the Barwon region.”