November 10, 2021
Research and innovation will not only help chart a way out of the Covid pandemic, it will also be the basis for rebuilding and shaping our cities, states and nation. Simply returning to where we were before the pandemic will not be enough if we are to thrive in the future. The actions we take today will determine the future we create for Australia.
Improving Queensland’s prototyping and manufacturing capabilities is a tangible step towards a bright future. These capabilities, and our ability to mobilize and develop them, will provide the opportunity to help shape whole new industries for Australia. Not only will investments in these areas create immediate and long-term regional jobs, but they will also help ensure our continued financial and technological resilience.
At Griffith University, we have long recognized the importance of these fields in providing solutions to problems in various industries including healthcare, aerospace, data and AI, engineering, mining. and beyond. Over the past few years, researchers at our ADaPT (Advanced Design and Prototyping Technology) pilot facility on the Gold Coast have worked across disciplines to innovate through industry-led design, prototyping and manufacturing projects.
Through our proposed new ADaPT facility, which will be located in the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge District, we plan to create an effective ‘one-stop-shop’ for end-to-end services in design, development and delivery. manufacturing breakthrough innovations. . Our staff and students will not only work to translate their own research into solutions to real-world problems, but they will also work closely with industry partners. ADaPT will provide a hub for engagement by integrating and working with industry partners to create cutting-edge solutions using 3D printing, digital twins, micro and nanotechnology, big data analytics, l artificial intelligence, complex imagery and industrial design.
Already, we have seen an enthusiastic response from the industry, with several organizations engaged in partnerships with our researchers.
One such flagship relationship is the recently signed five-year agreement between Griffith and local firm Gilmour Space Technologies, which will see the University work with Gilmour Space to enhance Australia’s aerospace capabilities and presence by expanding the Australia’s largest satellite in low Earth orbit (LEO). This project alone is expected to create 1,000 jobs over its lifetime and strengthen the economic diversity and resilience of the Gold Coast, hard hit by Covid.
Another successful example of ADAPT is the BioSpine Personalized Spine Injury Rehabilitation Project, led by Biomechanical Engineers Professor David Lloyd and Dr Claudio Pizzolato alongside the 2021 Australian of the Year. Queensland (and Griffith graduate), Dr Dinesh Palipana. Using existing and commercially available rehabilitation devices as a basis, the team strives to integrate biomechanical technologies, known as digital twins, to improve the quality of life of patients with spinal cord injury – and even give them hope to walk again someday.
Other exciting projects include the work of Griffith researchers in the development of artificial wrist ligaments to help treat injuries commonly experienced by working people, youth and athletes, mapping patients’ brain aneurysms through personalized replicas. 3D printed to allow surgeons to repeat incredibly delicate procedures; and the development of “blood-safe” prostheses for use in a total artificial heart.
Ultimately, ADaPT will provide Queensland with a world-class research and industry access facility, to develop the skills and knowledge needed for the jobs of the future.
Additionally, the facility clearly demonstrates Griffith’s commitment to high quality professional science, engineering and design, as well as health education and research. Its location in an enclosure that already houses a facility for promising start-ups, established businesses and two hospitals will create significant opportunities for formal partnerships and the sparks of inspiration provided by co-location.
We sincerely hope that it will be the beacon of proactive and meaningful industry engagement that directly benefits our partner organizations, the economy and our local communities – and therefore Australia as a whole.
Professor Carolyn Evans is Vice-Chancellor of Griffith University.