$3 million research grant lifts Australian innovation

CSR, the name behind many of Australia’s most trusted and recognised building product brands, has today signed an agreement with the federal government for a $3 million grant. The grant will support the company’s innovation and development of an Australian-first high performance building facade system.

"The federal government is to be congratulated on invigorating industry-research collaboration under the National Innovation and Science Agenda," CSR chief executive officer Rob Sindel said.

"CSR believes this kind of innovation initiative is exactly what is needed to help create real technology advances and new jobs in the Australian manufacturing industry."

CSR will locally manufacture a new generation of advanced, pre-fabricated unitised facades for the Australian commercial and institutional construction markets. The system will offer safer, faster, higher performing and more durable facades for Australian buildings.

When successfully implemented, it will make construction in Australia more competitive against global manufacturers, reduce construction costs on a range of projects, as well as expand the local skill base. Facades and building envelopes, which form the outer skins of buildings, are a crucial element of building design and represent a $20 billion market in Australia.

CSR is investing more than $3 million of its own funds into developing this opportunity to full commercialisation.

The grant, which is delivered over a three year period, was awarded under the Co-operative Research Centres Programme (CRC-P) – a competitive, merit-based grant program supporting industry-led collaborative research partnerships that deliver real results.

The successful projects will apply high quality, collaborative research to solve an industry-specific issue and develop new products, technologies or services.

Senator Sinodinos, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science said, “This work supports the National Innovation and Science Agenda pillar to foster industry-research collaboration.”

 “CSR is particularly excited about this opportunity as it could take local innovation to the world, with digital support from Australia. A thriving high technology building industry in Australia would also be an opportunity for workers from other industries in decline, such as the car or steel industries, to transfer their skills to a different type of assembly” added Mr Sindel.

CSR is committed to continued innovation and will use the funding to develop the technology and capability to establish a viable, ongoing operation. The project will fund dedicated research staff at the University of Melbourne as well as testing costs, materials and prototypes.

Australian engineering consultants the Inhabit Group will provide world-class facade design expertise as a key participant on the research project.

University of Melbourne Dean of Engineering Iven Mareels said: “A building’s facade accounts for up to 70 per cent of a building’s energy efficiency and up to 20 per cent of the cost of a building.

“This project will bring together the latest University of Melbourne research with leading industry experts to create a world-class collaborative research and training environment that will develop new innovations and build the essential skills to take the industry into the future."

Manufacturing is planned to be carried out in a purpose-built factory based in Wollongong, NSW and is expected to create 50 jobs within the first two years.

For further media information, images or interview requests please contact: Claire McIlroy

PR for CSR Inclose™
T: 0422 925 100

15 March 2017