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Celebrating a new era in industry and research collaboration - 03 June 2015

“Tomorrow’s breakthrough technologies rely on today’s investments in research and innovation,” PACIA CEO Samantha Read said today at the launch of the Chemicals and Plastics Manufacturing Innovation Network (CAPMIN) program at Monash University.

Victorian Minister for Industry, and Minster for Energy and Resources the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP launched CAPMIN, a $5.9 million collaboration between PACIA and Monash University to boost innovation and advanced manufacturing.

“PACIA is excited about the significant role CAPMIN will play in helping researchers and industry to develop new and improved products to support our modern lives, deliver real outcomes for business and build lasting collaborations,” Ms Read said.

“CAPMIN is a tangible result of PACIA’s Strategic Industry Roadmap, which identifies the fundamental elements that must be in place to achieve sustainable growth, including the critical need to match R&D capability and facilitate partnerships to meet industry needs.

“Working with CSIRO, the Roadmap identified several global market opportunities for the Australian chemistry industry resulting from increasing demand for high-quality products and services in population growth areas—such as the immediate Asian region.

“The role that chemistry plays in the Australian economy cannot be understated. The outputs of our industry feed in to 109 of 111 industry sectors and this creates a multiplier effect in jobs and investment throughout supply chains.

“High value Australian chemical products used in global and domestic supply chains can meet increasing demand in markets such as agriculture and food, building and construction and healthcare and wellbeing while driving economic growth.

“To do this, stronger collaborative research, increased focus on the development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics—STEM skills—and removal of regulatory barriers are fundamental to enabling Australian innovation and productivity improvements.

“Research indicates that top-performing STEM economies are united not by their size or geography but by their capacity to organise and then grasp their opportunities.

“Innovation increases sales and profits. Between 2009-10 and 2011-12, the median Australian annual sales growth for non-innovators was $4,245, compared with $243,764 for persistent innovators and the average gross profit per employee was $20,400 for innovative businesses, 47% higher than businesses that don’t innovate.

“As a nation we can’t afford to ignore the fact that we must increase business investment in innovation.

But currently, less than one in three Australian researchers works in industry, which is half the OECD average and less than the US, where two in three researchers are in the business sector.

Chemicals and Plastics Manufacturing Innovation Network (CAPMIN)

“CAPMIN aims to bridge these gaps by creating opportunities for the businesses in Australia‘s chemistry sector to work with PhD students to develop and commercialise products that can provide solutions to real challenges and generate genuine economic benefit for business.

“This sort of collaboration is vital to realising our vision of a manufacturing industry that secures long-term benefits for the economy, society and the environment while training the next generation of highly-skilled workers and innovators.”

“CAPMIN is the result of an exciting partnership between 20 industry participants, the Victorian Government and academia.

“PACIA is proud of its role in bringing research and industry together to drive manufacturing innovation, improve products and processes and contribute to sustainable economic growth into the future.”

Media contact: Krista Imberger – kimberger@chemistryaustralia.org.au or 0439 318 290

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