KCA and AIRG Industry Collaboration Pitch Fest

On August 5, the Australasian Industrial Research Group (AIRG) and Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA) co-hosted a networking event bringing together researchers and industry R&D specialists. The event, entitled, Collaboration Opportunities for Technologies / Products in the Physical Sciences was held at 3M Australia.

The event started with a tour of the 3M Innovation Centre, where we learnt about many of the new and innovative technologies under development at 3M. Technologies such as fast and easy- to-use systems for microbial detection that made assays I used in the laboratory only 3 years ago seem archaic and protracted. We also learnt about the technique of micro-replication, which uses microscopic structures to change the property of materials. In one case, making an adhesive stick to a surface bubble-free, something that is attractive to anyone who has spent hours at a school library covering childrens books with self-adhesives for a school working bee.

We then listened to pitches from 8 researchers on their latest research technologies and tools, a challenging feat fitting years of research into 3 minutes.  Researchers from ANSTO, University of Newcastle (UoN), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), University of Wollongong and the Australian Synchotron all pitched. Two technologies pitches which were particularly interesting; Hadi Zulfiqar from the University of Newcastle (UoN) who passed round the UoN-developed super-light metal foam which has potential applications in the automotive industry, particulary through reducing vehicle weight and increasing safety; Dinuka Abeywardena from UTS presented their vision based localisation of drones. The full list of speakers can be found below.

Company representatives from 3M, Weir Minerals, Melvelle attended.

The networking drinks afterwards allowed some great time to meet with the researchers and find out more about their technolgies. Thank you to both AIRG and KCA for organising such a great event, and the lovely staff at 3M for taking us on a tour of their innovation centre, I learnt a lot.


  • Anna Paradowska (ANSTO) – Residual Stress analysis using neutron and synchrotron x-ray diffraction to determine structural integrity
  • Lara Storr (ANSTO) – Accessing unique products form the OPAL Reactor
  • Dinuka Abeywardena (UTS) – Vision based localization of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for Infrastructure Inspection
  • Andrew Kostryzhev (University of Wollongong) – alloy design – processing – microstructure – properties – application” of mainly steels and other metals
  • Donghong Ning (University of Wollongong) – Multiple-DOF vibration control seat chassis for heavy duty vehicle
  • Hadi Zulfiqar (University of Newcastle) – Novel metallic foam manufacturing process
  • Hadi Zulfiqar (University of Newcastle) – A Novel Rail Conveyor
  • Kerry Hayes (Australian Synchotron/ANSTO) – The Australian Synchotron Q & A live and unscripted – all you ever wanted to know in three minutes