Monash extends partnership with Chinese aircraft manufacturer

China’s largest commercial aerospace manufacturer will invest $10 million to establish a research and development centre at the Monash Technology Precinct in Clayton.

Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) was established 11 years ago, and is currently producing more than 800 c919s, a 168-seater plane, for 28 customers globally.

Already, COMAC and the Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing work together to test and develop new metal alloys and advanced manufacturing components for commercial aircraft. This research makes the planes safer and more efficient.

“This deal brings together one of Victoria’s great research institutions with China’s largest aerospace manufacturer,” said Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews.

Andrews visited Beijing to witness the signing of the deal, and also visited Daxing Airport in Beijing, the largest airport in the world to ascertain whether there were other opportunities for Victorian manufacturers to collaborate with Chinese companies.

Martin Pakula, Victorian Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade, highlighted how the agreement points to strengths within the state.

“Innovation and manufacturing are strong in Victoria and these types of partnerships show how creating conditions to enable world-leading research and development can bring real results,” said Pakula.

The latest agreement comes after two years of collaboration between Monash University and COMAC, which began with Monash providing post graduate training for COMAC executives, with COMAC providing industry experience for Monash engineering students.

At the time, Monash academic vice-president of industry engagement and dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Professor Frieder Seible, highlighted how the university and enterprise collaborated.

“The Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing (MCAM) leads the development of new 3D printed alloys that are lighter and stronger than anything currently available enabling safer and more efficient aircraft,” he said.