CSIRO-Boeing partnership to investigate space sciences and direct manufacturing

CSIRO has entered into a five-year, $25 million strategic research program with Boeing, to drive innovation in space sciences, advanced materials, energy and direct manufacturing.

According to Innovation minister Senator Chris Evans, CSIRO will be able to get its science from the laboratory into industry via this partnership.

CSIRO and Boeing are no strangers to each other. They have been involved in a 23 year partnership, jointly investing about $110 million across a wide range of projects, including sustainable aviation fuels, aircraft assembly processes, fire retardants and aircraft maintenance management software.

The partnership developed a paint technology for aircraft which involves applying a metal alkoxide-based surface treatment that modifies and activates an aged paint treatment, forming a strong chemical bond with the fresh paint layer.

This reduces the need to repaint aircraft. It has been in use on over 800 commercial aircraft since June 2008, resulting in multi-million dollar cost savings.

With the new research program, direct manufacturing is just one technology expected to offer dramatic savings in labour, time, materials, energy and other costs.

The technology may allow manufacturers in developed countries like Australia to compete with countries where labour costs are low.