Posted on 12. Aug, 2010 in Victoria

A world-first advanced car wheel that will improve driver safety and boost vehicle performance is being designed in Geelong thanks to strong support from the Brumby Labor Government.

Regional and Rural Development Minister Jacinta Allan this week officially opened the Deakin University Proof of Concept facility at which research firm CFusion is developing the world’s first single piece carbon fibre automotive wheel.

The new centre is located within the Geelong Technology Park on the university’s grounds, and will be shared between the university and industry to collaborate on technological projects.

Ms Allan said the CFusion wheel was made from a single piece of carbon fibre – a material of the future – and would improve car safety by decreasing braking distance, and enhance performance by allowing faster acceleration and better grip.

“In addition to the $6 million we provided to the $13 million Proof of Concept facility, the Brumby Labor Government also provided CFusion and Deakin University’s Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (ITRI) with a $100,000 grant to jointly develop this world-first single piece carbon fibre wheel,” she said.

“The wheel has already been flagged for use in the Shelby 2010 Ultimate Aero, one of the world’s fastest cars.

“The Proof of Concept facility will create 150 new jobs, but the technologies and solutions born out of it will lead to many more being created by the advanced companies marketing these solutions as products.”

Ms Allan said there would be many more ‘world-firsts’ as companies utilised the Proof of Concept facility.

“The new facility will create an opportunity for industry-sponsored prototyping work to take place and will build more industry partnerships nationally and overseas,” Ms Allan said.

“It will also allow young regional Victorians in the state’s south-west to study locally and have world-class advanced design and research facilities at their doorstep.”

Member for South Barwon, Michael Crutchfield, said Geelong was set to become the carbon fibre capital of the state, if not the nation, as Deakin University readied to build the $28 million Australian Carbon Fibre Research (ACFR) facility.

“The ACFR is supported by $10 million from our Government under the $631 million Ready for Tomorrow: A Blueprint for Regional and Rural Victoria that is helping build a more prosperous future for regional Victorians,” he said.

Mr Crutchfield said the $6 million for the Proof of Concept facility had been sourced from the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund which had so far contributed $613 million towards 394 projects worth $1.66 billion in regional and rural Victoria.

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