Boeing opens largest R&D lab outside US in Australia

08 May 2013

Aerospace giant Boeing has opened a research and development centre in Australia, its largest R&D facility outside the United States.

In a move that underpins Australia’s reputation for innovation, Boeing invested heavily in the Boeing Research & Technology Australia facility in Port Melbourne, Victoria.

Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation Greg Combet officially opened the centre and highlighted its scope for expanded collaboration with Australia’s research bodies and institutions.

“This new technology centre will further enhance Boeing's R&D capabilities as well as its collaboration with local organisations including universities, the CSIRO and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation," Mr Combet said.

The technology centre signals a win-win proposition. It gives Boeing access to the best solutions to aerospace manufacturing challenges in Australia, where Boeing has its biggest presence outside the US. The upgrade also enhances Australia’s global reputation for research.

"Boosting innovation through R&D is the best way to keep Australian industry internationally competitive, with Boeing Australia having been a significant contributor to, and a beneficiary of, Australian R&D," he said in a statement.

Mr Combet said composite materials, structures and robotics technologies developed in Australia are being used in Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner, one of the world's most advanced commercial aircraft.

In its Port Melbourne plant, Boeing manufactures composite moveable trailing edge wing surfaces in a long-term contract valued at about $4 billion over 20 years.

The Boeing Company is the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft. It is headquartered in Chicago and listed on the New York Stock Exchange where it is capitalised at about US$71.5 billion. Its Boeing Australia division employs 3000 people in 27 locations across five wholly owned Boeing subsidiaries. The company is also represented here by several other organisations, including Boeing Research & Technology Australia.