The award was presented by Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price and accepted by the CEO of DMTC, Dr Mark Hodge, on behalf of the DMTC project team.
The team includes industry partners MacTaggart Scott Australia and United Surface Technologies along with researchers from Swinburne University of Technology and Defence Science and Technology (DST).
Dr Hodge said, "Defence’s input to this project has been significant – this is very welcome and also in keeping with DMTC’s mandate to focus on Defence need in scoping and defining projects."
The DMTC project has achieved marked improvements in protective surface coatings applied to critical hydraulic components on naval vessels, which are susceptible to bio-fouling and corrosion from exposure to harsh conditions or immersion for long periods of time. Benefits in terms of platform availability and cost reductions for the Navy and the Defence customer include:
- Extending availability periods before maintenance;
- Protecting and extending the life of expensive and long lead-time components; and
- The option of refurbishment (clean) rather than replacement of inventory.
In addition to reduced cost of ownership, the novel solution also delivers superior results in environmental and occupational health and safety performance compared with current compounds.
"The SEA 5000 Program and the National Shipbuilding Enterprise team in CASG (Defence) should be applauded for their role here. They are not just defining AIC or advocating for innovation, but contracting specifically for it and actually getting out and doing it through DMTC and our partners," Dr Hodge added.
This project builds on a decade of research by DMTC and its partners on corrosion prevention and mitigation, involving extensive marine studies and more recently a trial onboard HMAS Canberra.
"DMTC invests in bringing the best of Australian industrial and research expertise together. When long-term projects start to achieve really positive industrial outcomes, in this case through the agency of a couple of very innovative small businesses, the sovereign dividends from the partnership with Defence on these innovations are pretty obvious," Dr Hodge said.
DMTC’s activities focus on development of industry capability, rather than a specific product. As such, platform independent activities (such as welding productivity improvements) can be addressed independently of design or prime contractor selection, by focusing on supply chain improvements and setting context through global best practice benchmarks, standards and quality frameworks.