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Aussies Aim to Transform Manufacturing with Photonics

ADELAIDE, Australia, Nov. 15, 2013 — The University of Adelaide will work with local manufacturers to help them take advantage of emerging laser, sensor and other light-based technologies to transform their businesses under a two-year, $500,000 government grant.

The aim of the Photonics Catalyst Program, announced Thursday by Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade Minister Tom Kenyon, is to provide a catalyst for local businesses to bring photonics technologies into their manufacturing operations to gain a competitive edge, drive innovation and create jobs. It will fund projects that give local businesses access to expertise, equipment, research and cutting-edge technologies, officials said.

The program will be run by the university’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) and is a joint initiative between IPAS and the Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy (DMITRE).

“Photonics technologies represent a substantial opportunity for new advanced manufacturing operations in South Australia and have the potential to transform existing businesses,” said professor Tanya Monro, IPAS director. “It also provides new opportunities for IPAS researchers to work with industry and create routes for the translation of their research.”

The Photonics Catalyst Program will fund the development of prototypes, testing of new photonic devices and adoption of new technologies into manufacturing systems.

“One example is the local wine industry, which is investing in research and development of advanced photonic sensing technology at IPAS,” Monro said. “This will enable winemakers to monitor the maturation of their wine in barrels in real time, with great potential for increased efficiencies and profitability.”

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