Engineering next-generation biomedical and industrial applications at the forefront of Industry 4.0 is critical to our modern manufacturing capacity and key to the transformation of the Gold Coast economy and the development of the Precinct.

Griffith University’s flagship facility, Advanced Design and Prototyping Technologies Institute (ADaPT) will be built on a prime GCKHP site, leveraging existing capability located on the Gold Coast campus, and creating jobs of the future at the convergence of the new technologies shaping society.

3D Medical Grade Metal Printing

The face of manufacturing is rapidly changing, with a number of disruptive fabrication technologies, combined with 3D digital design, revolutionising how industry (and consumers) develop, prototype and manufacture products. Healthcare is also undergoing digital and MedTech transformation.

The emerging trends of big data analytics and rising computer power, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced automation and robotics and advanced digital design, together with Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies, combine to create a super technology platform for ‘future factories’ and ‘smart hospitals’.

The digital world will completely represent and redesign the real world and exciting new materials and technology platforms will produce better, more customised products and more effective, personalised medical devices and treatments.

As technologies and disciplines advance and converge, new business models will emerge and collaboration will be key.

Spacetech taking off

ADaPT will merge Griffith University’s expertise in micro and nano-technology, new materials, biomechanical and biomedical engineering, big data and AI, complex medical imaging and 3D printing design and technology, with the innovation of partner companies and clinicians.

Local and global industry will be engaged for a diverse range of rapid prototyping utilizing additive manufacturing in the medical, aerospace, marine, automotive and construction industries.

In the post-pandemic growth period, Australia will look to secure its sovereign supply chains and transform industry through modern manufacturing. The Precinct has collaborated with local partners to identify capabilities to seize this opportunity in a study of Industry 4.0 on the Gold Coast. We’re already welcoming international companies and partnerships, including the US-based company behind a world-first artificial heart, BiVACOR, a Silicon-Valley based medtech with a novel precision surgical laser technology, Precise Light Surgical, and the Australian base for Belgian-headquartered global AM software pioneer Materialise.

Digital Twins to revolutionise healthcare

Personalised medicine

Biomedical engineers at the Griffith Centre for Biomedical and Rehabilitation Engineering (GCore) are able to combine complex biomechanical testing results (eg showing the load on your knees when running or walking) with advanced imaging (precise tissue segments from MRI scans etc) and create 3D ‘digital human’ computer models or Digital Twins.

They can use these for simulating complex orthopaedic surgery (including inserting medical implants and devices), and designing performance training and rehabilitation programs, including wearable devices – all tailored to the individual patient.

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ADaPT Technical Manager Derek Smith (left) with Professor Paulo de Souza

Accelerating Australia's affordable satellite capabilities

ADaPT will accelerate Australia’s multibillion-dollar space industry by designing and prototyping satellite, rocket, and payload technologies that are lighter and cheaper to deploy, launching a range of opportunities for research and attracting commercial customers across sectors. Critical applications include remote sensing and satellite imagery for defence, mining and resources, disaster management, precision farming and environmental monitoring.

Collaboration with a range of industry partners, including Gilmour Space Technologies, Northrup Grumman, the Defence Materials Technology Centre, Korean Aerospace Research Institute and Etamax Engineering, places Griffith University at the frontier of a new era in space exploration and exciting opportunities to solve the planet’s major challenges.

Spacetech Lead brings NASA background

Professor Paulo de Souza holds cube sat prototype modelsThe University’s space technologies program is helmed by Professor Paulo de Souza, a former CSIRO Chief Research Scientist who was part of a NASA team that designed and developed sensors deployed on two Mars Rover missions.

ADaPT will be central to empowering and expanding the Queensland aerospace industry and skilling up a new generation of multidisciplinary professionals and will leverage billions of dollars invested by the Australian Space Agency and other international agencies by contributing payloads developed and engineered by the Griffith team to their space missions.

Australia's largest satellite set for launch

LEO satellites as small as cubes make space affordable

In a flagship project for ADaPT, Griffith University will support Gold Coast aerospace innovators Gilmour Space Technologies to prototype and develop Australia’s largest low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite, weighing 100 kilograms, for launch from 2023.

The ambitious endeavour will unlock opportunities from more affordable spacecraft—using new hightech materials and additive manufacturing processes, including embedding sensors and electronics into 3D- printed structures to decrease weight, and aiming to optimise payload, strength and tolerance of both extreme temperature variations and vibrations.


The Griffith University-Gilmour partnership signing in November 2020

Gilmour, a venture-backed rocket company that is developing new launch vehicles powered by lower-cost, hybrid propulsion technologies, launched Australia’s first privately developed hybrid rocket from the Outback in 2016, in a world-first flight demo of 3D-printed rocket fuel.

It has been awarded $52 million to work with a range of partners including Griffith, to create a manufacturing and test hub and an advanced manufacturing facility on the Gold Coast, as part of a larger pool of money dedicated by the Federal Government towards the Australian Space Manufacturing Network (ASMN).

New materials development

Micro and nanotechnology

Combining micro and nano-technology with 3D printing means that tiny amounts of material, biological or other materials can be digitally designed to be 3D printed – nano-scientists create bio-inks (molecules contained in microfluidics) and these are layered in 3D cellular patterns, in a similar way to an Inkjet printer in 2D.

Biological ‘scaffolds’ can also be created for tissue to grow on – regenerating missing jawbone is just one exciting application in a brave new world of personalised medicine. The future is set to include the growth of human organs.

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Empowering economic transformation

ADaPT will empower the Gold Coast’s manufacturing industry – now the third largest sector in the city, with a total output of $8.3 billion, including $3.9 billion in exports in 2019-20 and generating $2.7 billion in value-add for the local economy, having grown 22 percent in the last five years. 

Industry engagement and projects