Australian National Fabrication Facility

Making high tech medical gels with Australian spinifex grass

The birth of a new Australian industry, majority owned by Indigenous Australians

Spinifex grass. Credit: AIBN

Uniseed and Bulugudu have agreed to invest $2.6 million into Trioda Wilingi, a University of Queensland/UniQuest spin out company, to develop innovative medical gels from cellulose nanofibres extracted from spinifex harvested in north-west Queensland.

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‘Sharkskin’ makes planes faster, smoother, cheaper

A sharkskin-inspired coating on planes will save thousands of dollars per flight and slash carbon emissions, says Aussie start-up, MicroTau.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) today announces a $5.6 million investment in MicroTau’s ‘sharkskin’ technology developed with the help of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF).

Sharks famously swim smoothly and quietly, helped by their unique skin with thousands of overlapping layers of tiny ‘scales’ or denticles to reduce their drag in the water.

Mimicking this structure on airplanes reduces turbulence, increases flying speed, and cuts fuel emissions and cost. Unfortunately, it is excruciatingly difficult to replicate the microscopic grooves and bumps with traditional manufacturing.

MicroTau have solved this puzzle using specialist laser manufacturing technology to rapidly produce the shark skin pattern in a light-curable material onto large, self-adhesive patches. Today’s funding announcement will allow them to scale-up manufacturing and grow their team of scientists, engineers, and business development specialists.

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Can Australian researchers help maintain the technological superiority of the US Air Force?

And what are the benefits for Australian research?

Today in Washington DC, the Australian Ambassador Kim Beazley will open a four day workshop with more than 60 US defence researchers and 33 Australian nanotechnology scientists.

The meeting, organised by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF), will explore opportunities for collaboration in nanotechnology and nano-manufacturing.

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Immune peacekeepers discovered; Nobel Laureate speaks out; dark energy in Brisbane and more…

Science in Public media bulletin 18 October 2011.

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Computing with a single electron – background

Background information about the ‘single electron reader’ invention as published in Nature

Australian engineers and physicists have developed a ‘single electron reader’, one of the key building blocks needed to make a quantum computer. Their work was published online by Nature on Monday 27 September.
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