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Queensland-based nanomaterials company White Graphene Limited, part of PPK Group, has secured $100,000 and a partnership with Boeing to develop boron nitride nanomaterial applications in the space and aerospace industries after winning the company’s highly-competitive Sustainability in Space Pitch Competition.
Hosted by Boeing’s technology incubator Aerospace Xelerated, in partnership with Advance Queensland and the Queensland Government, the competition saw six shortlisted companies present a 15-minute pitch to a live panel of judges at The Precinct innovation hub in Brisbane and at the Space Center in Houston (USA) earlier this month.
White Graphene Commercial Director Lieuwke de Jong deivered a pitch about the potential application of boron nitride nanomaterials in interplanetary travel, the protection of space hardware and shielding space travellers from radiation.
“We’re eager to work with local companies who are exploring the use of radically new materials that have eco-friendly properties,” said Heidi Hauf, Boeing Regional Sustainability lead APAC. “Innovations we learn in space can have applications to our sustainability practices here on Earth, so we can’t wait to see how White Graphene advances their proof of concept with both our local and US-based space teams.”
Strong and lightweight, advanced nanomaterials are recognised by NASA for the protection they can offer astronauts and space hardware such as satellites or spacecraft, and could also have further applications in defence and aerospace.
As the winner, White Graphene will receive up to $100,000 of funding for a proof of concept project to develop solutions using boron nitride nanomaterials. If successful, there is an opportunity to become a supplier to Boeing and work with them and their stakeholders to address a range of space sustainability challenges.
“We have invested significant time and resources to create the manufacturing methodology that allows us to produce the required nanomaterials in various forms for commercial application at an economically viable price point,” said Mr de Jong.