Swinburne University will hold a conference on 17 August that will give unique, expert insights into how graphene-based materials can help Australian advanced manufacturers thrive in the fast-growing Internet of Things (IoT) marketplace, delivering smart products, accessing global supply chains, and realising higher margins.

According to McKinsey, the IoT will contribute up to US$11 trillion in economic value globally by 2025. The value of the “Factories and Worksites” component alone will be worth almost US$4 trillion.

The Internet of Industrial Materials conference will focus on how Australian manufacturers, researchers and investors can be big winners by focussing on this Factories and Worksites market segment. Advanced materials that use functionalised graphene – a revolutionary carbon allotrope – to capture and communicate useful data will enable differentiated products and processes that will deliver value into global supply chains.

Imagine Intelligent Materials is the lead industry partner with Swinburne in a world-first research initiative: The Graphene Supply Chain CRC-P. This research centre will be officially opened on 17 August 17 in parallel with the conference. The initiative is devoted to determining how to ensure replicability of graphene-based materials, together with the quality assurance necessary for graphene to deliver value in large-scale manufacturing environments.

The Swinburne conference will present ways that the commercial benefits of graphene can be realised now, including up-to-date case studies demonstrating its function as a cost-competitive component in IoT applications and technologies. The scope of the immediate opportunities includes:

  • Delivery of leak detection in dams and containment ponds (important in coal seam gas mining)
  • Structural integrity reporting in mine walls (important for safety in underground mining)
  • Sensing traffic movements through smart roads
  • Fabric sensors and switches for smart cars
  • Ultimately smart textiles for medical health, clothing, and homes.

The Internet of Industrial Materials conference will highlight how Australian companies are already working with global companies and supply chains, as well as what factors need to be understood to give Australian manufacturers, investors, researchers and entrepreneurs an advantage. Attendees will hear how Australia can become a major beneficiary of the IoT megatrend by focussing on a sector of IoT that leverages existing strengths. This has the potential to supercharge Australia’s economy and create the jobs and industries of tomorrow starting today. Participants will include influencers, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and companies from resources, infrastructure, and chemicals industries, as well as researchers and investors.

“Swinburne is excited to be partnered with Imagine Intelligent Materials, Austeng, Agilent, Duromer and HRL on the Graphene Supply Chain CRC-P project,” said Professor Bronwyn Fox, Director of the Factory of the Future at Swinburne University. “Our research on understanding structure performance relationships in graphene products will help to create robust supply chains for graphene-enabled products that meet industry and investor goals for manufacturability at scale. The applied research work on smart materials is totally aligned with the Manufacturing Futures Research Institute, Australia’s first Institute to focus on Industry 4.0.”

Chris Gilbey, CEO of Imagine IM, added: “In Australia, we always talk about how our sportspeople can punch above their weight. We have the ability to do this in the field of advanced manufacturing, too. Australia has some of the best scientific researchers in the world in the fields of materials science research, data analytics, polymers and textiles. We also have the ability to translate that research into products that can be integrated into global supply chains. Knowledge is power, and at the conference in August we will get an opportunity to build high-value connections by networking across disciplines and industrial sectors.”