Global 3D printing pioneer relocates Aussie HQ to the Gold Coast

Written on the 25 January 2019 by Business News Australia

Global 3D printing pioneer relocates Aussie HQ to the Gold Coast

Leading global 3D printing technology and additive manufacturing group Materialise is moving its Australian headquarters from Sydney to Queensland, where it will be based in the Gold Coast Health & Knowledge Precinct (GCHKP). 

The Belgium-based company plans to create a hub for cutting-edge medical device innovation in the 200-hectare precinct, capitalising on Griffith University's plans for an $80 million Advanced Design and Prototyping Technologies Centre (ADaPT) that is set to start construction this year. 

The group's software and services enable esearchers, engineers and clinicians to revolutionise patient-specific treatments that help improve and save lives.

The collaboration is the result of extensive discussions between Griffith, the GCHKP Project Office and Materialise over two years, including a trip to the company's Belgian headquarters to pitch the opportunity and technical links to research capabilities.

Griffith University's Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Ned Pankhurst, describes the move as a coup for Queensland and the Gold Coast.

"Materialise is truly a world-class company with 24 offices in 19 countries, and for them to choose to locate in the GCHKP at the ground-up stage signals the potential for a world-leading hub to develop here," says Professor Pankhurst.

"We've already opened up our ADaPT 1.0 industry showcase facility and Materialise staff will initially be based on campus, alongside our leading researchers who are working in areas such as developing orthopaedic and other medical devices."

GCHKP project director Di Dixon with Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Ned Pankhurst and Materialise Australia business manager Madeleine McIntyre.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate is equally delighted, with the city actively supporting the presence of companies looking to expand operations and contribute to local employment opportunities.

"Medical technology is rapidly advancing and we need the best companies here to carve out our global niche in what will be a huge world-wide market Materialise is one of the best," says Mayor Tate.

Materialise Australia business manager Madeleine McIntyre believes the Gold Coast has the right combination of existing world-class research expertise, skilled graduates and the lifestyle to attract global talent, as well as crucial co-location with clinical facilities.

"We have been the backbone of the 3D printing industry for nearly 3 decades, and have pioneered many leading medical applications of 3D printing," she says.

"The innovative and collaborative environment provided by the GCHKP will help us to further advance our medical software and services.

"Matching our company's entrepreneurial culture, the GCHKP will be a strong base for Materialise to expand our Australasian footprint and provides a lifestyle advantage for our employees and the future talent we will attract here."

For GCHKP project director Di Dixon, the Materialise move represents the chance to build momentum for ADaPT and the entire precinct well before the first sod is turned by sparking additional interest from associated innovative companies.

"We've always said the GCHKP is a long-term project and we're pleased our Project Office efforts have been able to attract a global player of this calibre even before the first building is constructed," says Dixon.

"This is our preferred model for development focusing on areas where we have genuine global niche expertise and attracting aligned industry co-location so we can rapidly translate research to great health and commercial outcomes."

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