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ANFF 2024 Showcase - Celebrating Client Success

The extraordinary talent and skills of ANFF’s client community were on display at our 2024 ANFF Showcase at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. This annual event is an engaging platform for engineers, researchers, and anyone working in R&D to hear about the innovative research enabled by micro- and nanofabrication.  

Wurundjeri woman Mandy Nicholson, founder of the Djirri Djirri female dance group and a Traditional Custodian of Narrm (Melbourne) and surrounds, gave a Welcome to Country. It was a true honour to have her call on her ancestral spirits to keep us safe while we live and travel on the lands of her ancestors and to tell Showcase attendees about First Nations science. 

Mandy Nicholson, Wurundjeri woman and Djirri Djirri founder, delivering a Welcome to Country
Mandy Nicholson, Wurundjeri woman and Djirri Djirri founder, delivering a Welcome to Country

ANFF CEO Jane Fitzpatrick’s opening address on our connected network for fabrication excellence set the scene for the jam-packed day of presentations. ‘This day is one I look forward to all year. It is incredible how much inspiration our clients can provide in such a short time,’ said Dr Fitzpatrick.

The keynote speaker for the Showcase was RMIT University Prof Sharath Sriram, who also serves as President for Science & Technology Australia. Prof Sriram’s keynote speech focused onAddressing grand challenges through connected ecosystems.’ He talked about how projects needed partners at all stages in their journey to having impact. He also shared some of the hard-won lessons he has learnt along the way to help those in the room to think about partnerships in another way.

Speaker RMIT University Prof Sharath Sriram
RMIT University Prof Sharath Sriram

The Showcase’s focus was on our clients and their Success Stories: twenty-four incredible presentations centred on Solutions for the Planet, Solutions for the People, Solutions for Communications and Exploration, and Solutions for the Frontier. Their stories highlight some of the many exciting, ANFF-enabled outcomes from the past year and once more provided the energy for us all to continue to improve and develop ANFF.

ANFF-C Panelists discussing Alliances and Partnerships
ANFF-C Panel on Alliances and Partnerships (l to r): ANFF-C Director John Morrison, Kate Latimer, Penelope Lane and Gordon Harling

The final sessions of the Showcase turned the audience’s attention to industry and commercialisation. Three Industry Case Studies presented by Advanced Navigation, Hysata and Misti demonstrated how ANFF has collaborated with its industry partners to promote their ongoing success. A Panel Discussion with three ANFF-C stakeholders on ‘Alliances and Partnerships’ for early-stage entities in the advanced manufacturing space served as an amazing wrap-up for the day’s presentations. 

Emeritus Professor Chris Fell was instrumental in the establishment of the ANFF organisation in 2007 and served as Chair of the Board for 11 years. Prof Fell always advocated for support and mentorship of early- and mid-career researchers through the ANFF network. After his unfortunate passing in 2022, the ANFF Board resolved to establish an award in his name for the best presentation at the ANFF Annual Research Showcase to the value of $2,000.00.

The inaugural winner of The Chris Fell Award was Sophie Cottam, a PhD student at the University of Sydney, for her presentation on ‘Laser-induced graphitisation of nano-films for in-vitro cell culture platforms.’ 

Presentation of The Chris Fell Award (l to r): ANFF CEO Jane Fitzpatrick, Board Chair Andrew Brawley and Awardee Sophie Cottam

The 2024 Showcase was a celebration of ANFF’s connections in both research and industry ecosystems and the tremendous successes of the clients we support across a diverse range of disciplines and applications.