CSIRO opens new facility to promote manufacturing innovation

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The CSIRO has opened a new state-of-the-art facility designed to improve chemical processes and promote innovation in Australian manufacturing businesses.

The 'FloWorks Centre for Industrial Flow Chemistry' is the first of its kind in Australia and has the objective of bringing "speed, scale and efficiency" to industrial applications that rely on chemistry.

Flow chemistry is a form of chemical manufacturing that is cleaner and more efficient. The benefits of using the flow process include reduced reaction times and plant space, which equate to less energy costs, more efficient processes, reduced waste and a much safer environment.

Industry minister Karen Andrews said it was important for the chemical manufacturing sector to innovate to remain globally competitive and grow international opportunities.

“The chemistry industry is Australia’s third largest manufacturing sector, supplying 104 of Australia’s 108 industries and delivering $38 billion to Australia’s GDP,” she said.

“The sector employs more than 60,000 highly skilled people across 5,500 small, medium and large businesses nationally, and for every job in the industry, five more are created in related supply chains.

“CSIRO’s world-class flow chemistry team is leading the way in chemical manufacture innovation, and developing a range of technologies with industry partners that are set to be rapidly commercialised.

“The FloWorks team has worked with a variety of Australian small businesses as well as larger multi-national organisations to commercialise flow chemistry technology, with several of these continuous flow processes now operating in production at various Victorian chemical manufacturers.”

The new facility is located in the Australian Manufacturing and Materials Precinct in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton.