Australian company Quickstep will launch a new $5million facility in Geelong for the development of automotive-grade carbon fibre, funded in part by a $1.76million grant.
The fund was launched in the wake of Ford’s announcement earlier this year that it would shut down its Australian manufacturing operations by 2016.
Around 30 new jobs will be created at the new Quickstep facility, which will be located within Deakin University's Carbon Nexus Precinct in Waurn Ponds.
The new facility also represents a new stage in ongoing collaboration between Quickstep and Deakin.
“Deakin has established Carbon Nexus, our open access pilot carbon fibre manufacturing line and research facility, with the aim of developing exactly this kind of working relationship with companies like Quickstep to help create the jobs of the future, for Geelong and Australia,” Deakin University’s Professor Lee Astheimer said.
Ford Australia boss Bob Graziano said today that the project will play an important role in helping current Ford employees transition into new roles.
“Ford Australia is proud to be associated with the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund because it's an important element of our transition plan to become a full-line vehicle importer while continuing to provide support for stakeholders affected by our business changes," he said.
Quickstep says its new facility, which will join the company’s existing aerospace plant which operates in NSW, will produce low-volume runs of lightweight components for the global automotive industry.
The company has developed a Resin Spray Transfer that can deliver faster production times, partnering with companies like Audi to develop next-generation components.
Federal Industry Minister, Ian MacFarlane, said: "by integrating their knowledge of advanced manufacturing, developed through working in the aerospace industry, into vehicle components production, Quickstep will be able to meet the growing demand for lighter, fuel saving car components.”