Victorian manufacturer scores top supplier status for international aerospace company

Enterprise Connect’s Researchers in Business initiative is helping to bridge the gap between industry and research.

Victorian manufacturing company A.W. Bell has used Researchers in Business funding to collaborate with CSIRO researcher Dr Roger Lumley. The partnership has led to significant process improvements, and resulted in A.W. Bell obtaining preferred supplier status for a major international aerospace company.

“Through this collaboration with the CSIRO, the business has become more innovative, productive and competitive,” said A.W. Bell’s Geoff Bell.

“We wouldn’t be where we are now without the Australian Government’s Researchers in Business funding.”

The Researchers in Business initiative has seen over 100 researchers work with local businesses to solve problems and improve processes. 

According to Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, the Researchers in Business program has been instrumental in helping break down the cultural divide between business and the research sector.

“Researchers in Business has become an established source of innovation, growth and vibrancy within both the business and research communities," Senator Carr said.

“Through Enterprise Connect the Government is placing researchers from universities or public research agencies into businesses.

“These businesses have identified a need to develop a new idea that has commercial potential and need help to do it. The result is new ideas and more innovative businesses.”

Enterprise Connect provides 50 per cent of salary costs – up to $50,000 – to businesses that place a researcher in the business for between two and 12 months.

“The Government is committed to fostering strong collaboration between research institutions such as universities and the business community, and we’re proud of the inroads we have made through Researchers in Business,” Senator Carr said.

Enterprise Connect is an industry-backed Federal Government initiative that offers advice and support to help eligible Australian small and medium businesses improve managerial skills and become more productive and innovative.

Australian owned and managed A.W.Bell is a supplier of complex metal parts using rapid prototyping, investment casting, sand casting and production machining technologies. The company also specialises in manufacture of tooling and patterns for sand casting and gravity die casting industries.

Founded in1952 as a pattern manufacturer by Alan Bell, the company, now run by his son Geoff, is focused around the investment casting foundry. A.W.Bell employs over 100 people.

According to the company website, patternmaking still remains an important part of the business as is moldmaking, production machining and the manufacture of grinding and cutoff machines under the auspices of Bell Machinery.

Image: A.W.Bell