Quickstep sets up composites R&D center in Australia

R&D activity was previously conducted in Munich.

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Australian-based Quickstep Holdings has established a global research and development center at Deakin University's Waurn Ponds campus in Australia, where Quickstep's automotive division is based. The new R&D center will manage ongoing development of all Quickstep technologies and intellectual property, supporting the company's aerospace and automotive facilities in Australia and Germany. Quickstep and Deakin University will continue their close relationship through a long-term strategic R&D and education agreement, and R&D activity currently undertaken at Quickstep's Munich facility will be relocated to the center.

The R&D center will support the fast‐tracking and industrialization of Quickstep's patented Qure process for molding and curing carbon fiber composite parts in niche volumes; and the development of RapidQure, a fully automated high‐volume manufacturing system for the automotive industry.

Quickstep is pleased to acknowledge the support of the State Government of Victoria's investment promotion arm Invest Victoria to relocate R&D from Germany to Geelong. The funding is in addition to the $1.76 million grant provided by the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund (GRIIF), an initiative funded by the Federal and Victorian Governments and Ford Australia, announced in November 2014.

Quickstep's managing director, David Marino, said: "Establishment of our global R&D center is a strategic step which expedites development of Quickstep's technology and intellectual property in Australia. We are grateful for the support of Invest Victoria, which joins the Australian government and Ford Australia in helping to progress the establishment of our high‐tech automotive and research centre at Waurn Ponds. Quickstep will benefit from access to Deakin University's 'carbon cluster' with its skilled researchers, laboratories and industry networks, close working relationships with partnered research institutions and potential customers.”

Quickstep is currently targeting niche volume automotive projects, while developing its automotive technology and increasing volume capability to secure larger projects. The company recently announced an agreement with a global Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to deliver a series of up to 1,000 lightweight carbon fiber interior parts, with production commencing in early 2016.