Major funding boost for titanium researchers

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New Zealand’s titanium materials research has attracted a major investment that will enable the development of a pan-industry manufacturing base for high value export products, say programme participants.

Titanium Technologies New Zealand (TiTeNZ), funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), will provide a major boost to research activities with widespread national and international application across the medical, aerospace, defence, marine, energy and general engineering sectors.

The research collaboration has initial funding of $3.1 million per year for two years, but is aiming to establish a long term programme to support high value manufacturing based on titanium alloys.

TiTeNZ builds on current research capability and infrastructure in titanium metallurgy, high temperature materials processing and fabrication, and advanced surface coatings at Callaghan Innovation, GNS Science, the University of Waikato, the University of Auckland and the Titanium Industry Development Association (TiDA).

“This investment will enable the development of a world class titanium research platform in New Zealand and create a multi- company, multi-sector manufacturing base for high value export products,” says Professor Ian Brown of Callaghan Innovation who is leading a cluster of Crown Research Institutes and University applied materials research teams working in partnership with New Zealand industrial manufacturers.

Oversight of the new programme will be managed by an Industry Advisory Panel. Advisory Panel chair Jon Mayson says: “New Zealand has an amazing opportunity around the research and commercialisation of Titanium materials. We are currently at the leading edge internationally in some of our research.

“Our challenge is to ensure that our current position is converted to commercial opportunities for New Zealand businesses. This may involve collaborating globally in research, but the major focus must remain in ensuring economic outcomes for New Zealand through commercialisation.”

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