Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology is looking to drive advanced air mobility (AAM) research and development in Australia through its recently established AIR (Aerostructures Innovation Research) Hub and is seeking start-up projects for a new six-month intensive collaborative prototyping and commercialization programme, AIR Pass.
AIR Hub was launched late last year to bring researchers and industry together in aerospace research and development. Projects include digitalization, intelligent manufacturing, composite materials and advanced air operations. Industry founding partners include Boeing, Quickstep, CSIRO, Cablex, Marand, ANSTO, Monash University and Furnace.
The AIR Hub is “opening up channels for industry”, director, Dr Adriano Di Pietro told delegates at the AAM Summit in Melbourne. AIR Hub’s testing and research facilities are available for the AAM industry to use, including the Swinburne-CSIRO National Industry 4.0 Testlab, which conducts industrial scale multilayer 3D printing for near net composite manufacturing and solutions for automotive and aerospace parts, processes and systems. “It’s no small challenge to put AAM into the air,” says Di Pietro, adding that research and development is needed in Australia to achieve this.
AIR Hub’s recently launched AIR Pass initiative is aimed at helping AAM start-ups achieve commercialisation.
The six-month intensive collaboration project will provide up to A$150,000 of prototype engineering support for four to eight companies. The initiative is an “agile sprint-style project management” programme providing engineering and business support to start-ups, says Di Pietro. The programme is designed for early-stage ventures that are looking for prototyping and technology support to achieve a demonstration, trial or pilot programme with customers.
“We need to be building [AAM] here in Australia. We need to design, build, test and fly [prototypes] here,” says Di Pietro.
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