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$85m Defence Materials Technology Centre opens for business.

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THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

SENATOR THE HON. KIM CARR Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science & Research

THE HON. GREG COMBET MP Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Procurement

Thursday, 19 February 2009 026/2009


The Australian Government today launched an $85 million Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) in Bendigo, Victoria, aimed at researching futuristic materials for the Defence industry.

Minister for Defence Science, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, the Minister for Industry, Science and Research, Senator the Hon. Kim Carr and the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Procurement, the Hon. Greg Combet AM MP jointly launched the co-operative venture at Thales Australia, one of the partner organisations.

The DMTC is Australia’s first public-private partnership dedicated to developing smart materials for use in the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) next-generation ships, aircraft and combat vehicles. The Australian Government provided $30 million funding with collaborating partners contributing a further $55 million.

"The centre has made an impressive start with 16 projects up and running within six months of incorporation," Mr Snowdon said.

“It will drive innovation in Defence technology, focusing on research programs in air and maritime platforms, armour applications, and propulsion systems."

Mr Combet agreed, and said the centre will significantly enhance Australia’s Defence industry.

“In the current global economic uncertainty it is the innovation of our Australian industry and research such as that being undertaken at the Defence Materials Technology Centre that helps place Australia in a strong position for an early recovery."

Senator Carr said the Defence industry is a high-skill, high-technology branch of Australian manufacturing and as such is an important contributor to Australia's economic future.

“The centre will stimulate industry in two ways: by enhancing Australian defence capability through cutting-edge research and by providing all-important training and education," Senator Carr said.

"And because the centre is based on the tried and tested cooperative research centres model, it is already charting a clear path to success.”

Media contacts: Kate Sieper (Warren Snowdon): 02 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689

Patrick Pantano (Kim Carr): 02 6277 7580 or 0417 181 936

Rod Hilton (Greg Combet): 02 6277 4771 or 0458 276 619

Background: The DMTC is the first centre to be established under the Defence Future Capability Technology Centre Program, and comprises 29 major and supporting partners from the private and public sectors.

The DMTC is being supported by leading experts in materials technology such as:

Bluescope Steel, BAE Systems, Thales Australia, GKN Aerospace, Surface Technology Coatings, ANSTO, DSTO, University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology, Wollongong University, CAST CRC and the CRC for Advanced Composite Structures.