Four Australian innovators were presented with Aerospace Australia Industry Innovation Awards at Avalon on Wednesday afternoon.
The winners include a Melbourne company that, with the government’s Defence Science and Technology Group, has become the prime contractor for corrosion management on the global F-35 Joint Strike Fighter fleet; a Brisbane company that has adapted CSIRO research to link a technician working on an aircraft with an expert a continent away using virtual reality and wi-fi; and a young researcher who has been conducting ground-breaking multi-national research into repairing carbon-fibre composite aircraft structures.
The Innovation Awards, including SME Innovation Grants and Young Innovator Scholarships worth $10,000, were presented by Avalon Airshow organiser Aerospace Australia Limited chairman Air Marshal (ret’d) Geoff Shepherd in a ceremony at the Avalon Airshow innovation theatrette.
The winners are:
Defence Industry National Innovation Award: BAE Systems Australia and DST Group
Civil Industry National Innovation Award: TAE Gas Turbines Limited
Civil SME Innovation Grant: Thomas Global
Young Innovator Scholarship for Civil Industry: Jarrod Hayes-Griss, Advanced Composite Structures Australia and RMIT University.
“Although highly prestigious awards for excellence in engineering, industrial design and business already exist, ours were the first – and as far as we’re aware remain the only – national awards to recognise and reward the efforts and achievements of innovative Australian companies and individuals in the aerospace industry,” said Avalon 2017 CEO Ian Honnery.
The fact that entrants were so eager to submit entries for the 2017 Aerospace Australia Limited Industry Innovation Awards is a reflection of both the quality and ambition of Australian companies and the growing prestige of these awards.”
The National Innovation Award winners were presented with engraved glass boomerangs, symbolising the inventiveness of Australia’s first peoples and their unique contribution to aeronautical history. The boomerangs were designed and made by Wathaurong Glass Arts, an indigenously owned and managed cooperative in Geelong.
The winners of the SME Innovation Grant and the Young Innovator Scholarships were presented with cheques for $10,000 each as rewards for their efforts and a small financial contribution to further innovation and the development of professional skills.
“Our purpose as a foundation is to promote the development of Australia’s industry capacity in the fields of aerospace, defence, maritime and IT so we’re putting our money – literally – where our mouth is,” said Honnery.
“The fact that the awards have been won by such high-quality candidates speaks for the quality of the individuals, companies and organisations making up Australia’s civil and military aerospace industry.”