Last week Revolution Fibres was able to talk to business leaders and political representatives from Auckland, Guangzhou and Los Angeles, about the change in manufacturing models made possible by advanced materials such as nanofibre.
An excerpt from a ECNS article reviewing the talks:
Iain Hosie, technical director of Auckland-based nanofiber developer and manufacturer Revolution Fibres, said the biggest hurdle facing the field of new materials was educating industry as to its possible applications.
Much of the company’s business involved customization of nanofibers using one-off non-recurring engineering for niche markets that large manufacturers lacked the flexibility to adapt to.
Manufacturers were increasingly looking for specialists and increased performance, but were unwilling to take on the costs of development of new materials, said Hosie.
“What we’re seeing is the big old model of the General Electrics and 3Ms, who have huge R&D teams trying to be all things to all men, those days are gone,” he said.
However, traditional technology partners, such as universities and research institutions, were still focused on pursuing research funding and academic recognition.
“While advanced materials technologies continue to advance at rapid pace, the mechanisms of how they will get into market, how they’ll be used by industry and at what price are not being addressed in that type of research, so there’s so fundamental gaps sitting here,” he said.
Revolution Fibres operated a system of “open innovation” drawing new developments from researchers and adapting them to the needs of industry, Hosie told the forum.
“It recognizes that advanced materials alone are products, they need to by customized, they need to be adapted to fit a wide variety of uses,” he said.
Here’s a brief video about the Auckland Tripartite Economic Summit.
Revolution Fibres is glad we could share a little bit of our insight into the potential of nanofibre and advanced manufacturing processes. We look forward to aligning our thoughts with attending businesses in Los Angeles and Guangzhou, helping them to create superior products through our IP and expertise.