Universities getting innovation right – the printed jet engine flies into Paris deal; replacing the needle and syringe; celebrating your innovation

Bulletins, Science stakeholder bulletins

Innovation successes for Australian universities.

Today I want to share with you news of some great examples of Australian universities getting innovation right.

Monash’s 3D printed jet engine technology has flown into a manufacturing collaboration in Toulouse – with their spin-out company Amaero making aerospace components for Safran Power Units. The Australian Ambassador to France launched the deal in Paris last night. More below.

And UQ researcher Mark Kendall is on track to replace the 160-year-old needle and syringe. He will be recognised in Parliament House in Canberra tonight with the CSL Young Florey Medal. His Nanopatch  uses a fraction of the dose, puts the vaccine just under the skin, and doesn’t require a fridge.

Spin-out company Vaxxas is running human trials in Brisbane and the WHO is planning a polio trial in Cuba in 2017. The Gates Foundation and Merck are also backing Mark.

Last week I was in Tokyo filming more successful innovations:

  • Griffith University is partnering with three Japanese companies in the search for malaria drugs.
  • The University of Melbourne’s Recaldent is repairing teeth worldwide thanks to their long term collaboration with Japanese dental company GC Corp.
  • Solar furnace technology from CSIRO and a South Australian company is being trialled by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Yokohama.
  • And Komatsu’s CEO told me about the giant robotic trucks that they’re developing with Rio Tinto for the ‘mine of the future’.

Talk to me if you’d like help telling your organisation’s stories of innovation:

  • We offer pitching, engagement, presentation, and media training.
  • We have the national and global connections to put your stories in front of the right audiences.
  • Our 2017 Stories of Australian Science is opening for submissions soon.

In this bulletin:

After 160 years, it’s time to move on from the needle and syringe

Nanopatch starts clinical trials in Brisbane, with Cuba next

Rocket scientist reinvents vaccination and wins $25,000 CSL Young Florey Medal

Award presentation: 9 pm (Canberra time) Wednesday 9 November at the AAMRI Dinner in the Great Hall, Parliament House, Canberra

  • Professor Mark Kendall, CSL 2016 Young Florey Medal winner

    Professor Mark Kendall, CSL 2016 Young Florey Medal winner

    Professor Mark Kendall helped create a small rocket for vaccine delivery.

  • Then he invented a radically simpler concept that could replace the needle and syringe we’ve been using for 160 years.
  • A small square of silicon with 20,000 microscopic spikes delivers vaccines directly to the skin’s immune cells.
  • It’s painless, requires a fraction of the dose, doesn’t need refrigeration, and eliminates needle phobia.
  • Now human clinical trials are underway in Brisbane, and the WHO is planning a polio vaccine trial in Cuba in 2017.

Mark Kendall is planning to dispatch the 160-year-old needle and syringe to history. This Queensland rocket scientist has invented a new vaccine technology that’s painless, uses a fraction of the dose, puts the vaccine just under the skin, and doesn’t require a fridge.

Human trials of Mark’s Nanopatch are underway in Australia, and the concept has broad patent coverage. It’s being supported by the World Health Organisation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Merck.

But it’s not been an easy path. Mark has had to push the science and business worlds to see the value of a new approach to vaccine delivery. It took 70 presentations before he secured funding for The University of Queensland spin-out company Vaxxas.

The CSL Young Florey Medal is presented every two years by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS). The award recognises mid-career achievements in biomedical science and human health advancement. Supported by CSL, it carries a cash prize of $25,000.

“Innovation in medical research is not always about new medicines, in this case it is medical-technology which may revolutionise the way we administer vaccines and make them accessible to many more people,” says CSL’s Chief Scientist, Dr Andrew Cuthbertson.

“In our centenary year, CSL is proud to support this award, which both recognises excellence in research, and creates role models for the next generation of medical researchers,” says Andrew.

“Mark Kendall is a lateral thinker and a great example of a multidisciplinary approach to solving unmet medical needs.  His work to develop the Nanopatch has bridged engineering, biology, and commercialisation.”

“Mark Kendall could transform vaccine delivery, just as Florey transformed the treatment of bacterial diseases,” says AIPS general manager Camille Thomson.

“Howard Florey was 43 when he carried out the first clinical trial of penicillin. He was 47 when he won the Nobel Prize and was acknowledged by Sir Robert Menzies who said, ‘In terms of world well-being, Florey was the most important man ever born in Australia’”.

Mark Kendall is Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at The University of Queensland. He is the founder of Vaxxas and has served as Chief Technology Officer and a director of the company. He also leads the Queensland Node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology.

Read more at: www.scienceinpublic.com.au/floreymedal


Melbourne’s 3D jet engine technology flies into production in France


Monash Jet Engine on display at the Avalon Airshow

Monash Jet Engine on display at the Avalon Airshow

The Monash University-led team who printed a jet engine last year have enabled a new venture for manufacturing aerospace components in France.

Melbourne-based Amaero Engineering—a spin out company from Monash University’s innovation cluster—has signed an agreement with the University and Safran Power Units to print turbojet components for Safran, the French-based global aerospace and defence company.

“Our new facility will be embedded within the Safran Power Units factory in Toulouse and will make components for Safran’s auxiliary power units and turbojet engines,” said Mr Barrie Finnin, CEO of Monash spin-out company Amaero.

Monash University’s Vice-Provost (Research and Research Infrastructure) Professor Ian Smith said that the Amaero-Safran agreement is an excellent example of the University’s exceptional research having commercial impact on a global scale.

“I am delighted that Monash is contributing to global innovation and attracting business investment with our world-class research. The Amaero-Safran collaboration is a fabulous example of how universities and industry can link together to translate research into real commercial outcomes,” Professor Smith said.

“The new venture is part of Monash University’s large-scale investment in innovation on our Clayton campus, which brings together a dynamic cluster of research, research infrastructure and industry partners. Collectively we and our industry collaborators are driving technological change and advancing manufacturing – delivering real social and economic impact.”

The world’s first 3D printed jet engine was revealed to the world at the 2015 Melbourne International Airshow. As part of a project supported by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF) Safran, Monash University and Amaero, in collaboration with Deakin University and the CSIRO, took a Safran gas turbine power unit from a Falcon executive jet, scanned it and created two copies using their customised 3D metal printers.

This research is now being extended further through the support of Australian Research Council’s (ARC) strategic initiative “Industry Transformation Research Hub” and several industrial partners including Safran and Amaero.

“We proved that our team were world-leaders,” said Professor Xinhua Wu, Director of the Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing. “I’m delighted to see our technology leap from the laboratory to a factory at the heart of Europe’s aerospace industry in Toulouse,” Professor Wu said.

Amaero will establish a new manufacturing facility on the Safran Power Units site in Toulouse using a 3D printing technology known as Selective Laser Melting. They will not only bring the know-how and intellectual property they’ve developed in partnership with Monash University, they will also relocate two of the large printers they have customised for this precise manufacturing task.

Safran Power Units will test and validate the components the team makes, and then the factory will enter serial production, producing components that Safran Power Units will post process, machine and assemble into auxiliary power units and turbojet engines for commercial and defence use. The project team expect that production will commence in the first quarter of 2017.

The collaborative agreement is between Safran Power Units, Amaero and Monash University.

“Over the past five years, Safran Power Units and Monash University have successfully worked on a demonstration phase. Innovations generated by research and joint collaboration lead us to a new milestone: introducing 3D printing into production stage for major engine parts. We are committed to add tangible value to our products for the benefit of our customers. The stakes are high: weight reduction, huge production cycles shortening and designs innovation.

“Safran Group advances and our partner leading-edge expertise allow us to stay ahead and to supply the most sophisticated components. This is not just a matter of 3D printing, the 3P rule applies: setting the right parameter for the right part and the right expected performance,” declared François Tarel, CEO of Safran Power Units.

The development and commercialisation of this advanced 3D metal printing technology has been supported by Monash University; Safran; and the Australian Government through the Entrepreneur’s Programme; the ARC; and other agencies.

CSIRO and Deakin University are also participants in the original engine printing project supported by SIEF which continues to provide valuable data and software tools.

Read more at www.amaero.com.au or www.scienceinpublic.com.au/monash-uni


Meet science’s social media stars this Friday in Melbourne

  • Will a social media profile help you build your research career?
  • What’s the difference between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn anyway?
  • How do you use them to promote your work?
  • Are you a #seriousacademic if you tweet?
  • And what even is Snapchat?

This Friday in Melbourne @astrokatie (Melbourne Uni’s Dr Katie Mack), @EuanRitchie1 (Deakin Uni’s Dr Euan Ritchie) and @astroduff (Swinburne Uni’s Dr Alan Duffy) will answer your questions about social media.

They’ll share their tips on how they made it work for them, what to post on what channels, which audiences you can reach, and how to deal with the trolls.

If you’re keen to raise your (or your organisation’s) profile on social media, this is the Innovation Week session for you.

This free event is at the Royal Society at 5:30 pm this Friday, register via Eventbrite

Communication and media training dates for 2017

We’ve just opened our first batch of training courses for 2017.

Our courses are full-day practical workshops for up to 12 participants, providing one-on-one advice and feedback for participants as well as practice interviews with working journalists.

We will help you find the right words to explain your research in a way that works for the media, as well as for government, industry and other stakeholders.

We also offer bespoke courses to meet your organisation’s needs.

  •          Melbourne: Wednesday 8 Feb, Tuesday 2 May, Thursday 22 June
  •          Adelaide: Wednesday 22 Feb, Tuesday 6 June
  •          Sydney: Thursday 9 March, Thursday 25 May
  •          Perth: Wednesday 15 March, Wednesday 5 July
  •          Canberra: Wednesday 5 April

You can register for these courses via Eventbrite.

For more information about our communication, pitching, engagement, presentation, and media training for scientists visit www.scienceinpublic.com.au/training


We want your stories of Australian science

We’re looking for great stories of Australian science from 2016 to share with our network of journalists, politicians and science leaders around the world.

Stories of Australian Science summarises the best of Australian science from the past year.

Last year we included stories on supercharged rice to feed the worldhalving brain scarring from strokeswhat unboiling an egg means for pharmaceuticalsusing maths to save seagrass sanctuaries; and printed medical tools from the scientists who’ve just signed a deal in Paris.

We also had a special feature on Australia-Indonesia collaborations.

So start thinking how you can use Stories to promote your research in 2017.

Feel free to email me or Lydia (niall@scienceinpublic.com.au and lydia@scienceinpublic.com.au) or call the office on (03) 9398 1416 to discuss your ideas