Boeing has officially opened a new aerospace research and development facility in Melbourne. Research & Technology Australia (BR&T-Australia), celebrating its fifth anniversary in Australia, is Boeing’s largest R&D laboratory outside the US and has become a prominent asset in Australia’s aerospace development industry.
BR&T developed composite materials, structures and robotics technologies that are being used in the 787. Trailing edge wing surfaces, which account for about four per cent of the aircraft, are manufactured at the Boeing facility at Port Melbourne and shipped to its US assembly plant.
“Boeing has made a considerable investment in its innovation and research and development capabilities in Australia over the past five years. This new technology centre will further enhance Boeing’s R&D capabilities as well as its collaboration with local organisations including universities, the CSIRO and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation,” Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet said on opening the facility.
He added: “Boeing’s investment in an Australian branch for R&D highlighted the demand for our ability to meet the manufacturing and innovation demands of the global aerospace market.
“Boeing is a strong example of how Australian industry and researchers, supported by Gillard government investment, can grow productivity and competitiveness across the national economy.
“Boosting innovation through R&D is the best way to keep Australian industry internationally competitive, with Boeing Australia having been a significant contributor to, and a beneficiary of, Australian R&D,” Combet said.