Boeing has signed an agreement with RMIT to merge its expertise in space product development with RMIT's advanced manufacturing research.
Initially collaborating on design strategy, materials research and process innovation, RMIT will connect with Boeing’s resources and global networks to 'develop Australian sovereign capabilities critical for commercial production of equipment for spaceflight and off-world exploration'.
“Australia’s burgeoning space sector requires the production of complex, low volume, bespoke components not suited to conventional manufacturing techniques,” Boeing Defence Australia director of Aerospace Engineering and Production, Paul Watson, said.
“This partnership will develop new knowledge in advanced manufacturing technologies which will not only stimulate the development of a local fabrication capability but will also expose Australian industry to space export markets as part of Boeing’s global supply chain.”
The research and development will be undertaken at RMIT’s Space Industry Hub – a launch pad and industrial solutions incubator dedicated to growing Australia’s space sector.
“Our ultimate goal is to maximise opportunities for commercialisation of the products that we co-develop with Boeing,” RMIT Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Professor Calum Drummond, said.
“This is a pioneering project which provides a tangible pathway for Australian businesses to upskill, innovate and export globally as manufacturers of products for space applications."
Boeing has had a longstanding relationship with RMIT which has contributed to Australia’s aerospace manufacturing capability through innovation in undergraduate education, postgraduate research and collaborative research projects.
Boeing says that the RMIT collaboration 'furthers the company’s commitment to investing in sovereign space capability'. Boeing has had a Statement of Strategic Intent and Cooperation in place with the Australian Space Agency since March 2019.