Manufacturing Innovation: IMCRC Partnership Fulfilled

APR.Intern is delighted to have successfully fulfilled its partnership with the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC), by placing 25 highly skilled PhD students into IMCRC-funded industry internships.

The partnership, established in 2019, was designed to help SMEs in the manufacturing sector tackle R&D challenges, with IMCRC providing 23 businesses with a 50% subsidy to ease the cost of engaging a PhD student intern. Due to demand, IMCRC provided an additional two subsidies, with 25 internships supported in total. Facilitated by APR.Intern, the internships allowed manufacturing industry to tap into Australia’s powerful academic landscape and connect with some of the brightest emerging research talent.

The 3-6 month PhD internships brought a wide range of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills to the forefront of manufacturing innovation, with projects ranging from state-of-the-art 3D print technology for healthcare, development of sensor technology for remote power pole maintenance, design of storage tanks for corrosive chemical transportation, application of data science to advance automotive electronics, and beyond.

Of the 25 PhD students placed:

  • An impressive 9 students were offered ongoing employment with the Industry Partner – 8 in newly created roles and 1 in an existing position
  • 87% of industry reported that project outcomes were directly implemented in the company
  • 75% of industry reported they were seeking co-funding to continue the research

APR.Intern National Program Manager, Lisa Farrar, said the partnership had received overwhelmingly positive feedback from industry and universities alike.

“The subsidy that IMCRC provided has undoubtedly strengthened industry-university collaboration within the sector. 90% of businesses that utilised the subsidy were start-ups or SMEs, providing them with much-needed support to engage in research collaborations and fast-track innovative R&D,” said Lisa.

IMCRC CEO and Managing Director, David Chuter, said he was proud to deliver on IMCRC’s commitment to supporting industry-university research collaboration and driving manufacturing innovation.

“By subsidising the cost of the internship, IMCRC and APR.Intern have enabled manufacturing SMEs to harness the expertise of Australia’s emerging research talent to solve very specific challenges within the R&D of their business,” said David.

“It’s incredibly pleasing to see this program not only deliver ongoing employment for many of the students, but also create opportunities for the majority of businesses to continue or invest in new collaborative R&D projects,” David continued.

A visit from the Prime Minister

A stand-out internship under the IMCRC partnership was the research collaboration between Varley Group – one of Australia’s oldest engineering and manufacturing companies – and Deakin University PhD student, MJ Izadi, who was brought on to guide the implementation of new Industry 4.0 technologies and new product development.

The outcomes of MJ’s internship were so significant that Varley organised for MJ to present the results to Prime Minister Scott Morrison during an official visit to Varley headquarters in 2020.


3D Print Tech Transforming Healthcare

Another highlight was the collaboration between 3D print tech start-up, Fusetec – who are printing Australia’s first 3D simulations of human body parts for use in healthcare – and RMIT PhD student, Jiawei Ma.

Specialised in biomedical engineering, Jiawei was the perfect match for Fusetec’s life-saving research. Over 4-months, he generated four realistic segmented thoracic models including rib cage, organs and tissue, of which the heart was 3D printed.



APR.Intern would like to thank IMCRC for engaging in this partnership and supporting PhD industry internships.