Technology invented at The University of Western Australia to make work conditions safer for underground miners is likely to be used around the world soon, following an agreement signed today.
Through its Office of Industry and Innovation, UWA will collaborate with DYWIDAG-Systems International (DSI) to further commercialise the High Energy Absorbing (HEA) Mesh internationally.
HEA Mesh, invented by Winthrop Professor Yves Potvin, Director of UWA's Australian Centre of Geomechanics, won the 2008 WA Inventor of the Year Ready for Market category. The mesh, made of recycled scrap metal, is easy to install and has high load-bearing capacity.
"The major benefits of this mesh will be to improve mine safety, especially where the ground conditions are rockburst-prone and challenging," Professor Potvin said. "I'd like to thank the staff at UWA's Office of Industry and Innovation and in particular Project Manager Tom Schnepple, for his work in making today's agreement with DSI a reality."
DSI Chief Executive Officer Alan Bate said: "We are very pleased to be working with the University and Professor Potvin to make this a product in the international mining sector. This agreement is our joint commitment to making this product a proven benefit to DSI's clients."
UWA is a leading Australian research university with an international reputation for excellence, innovation and enterprise. Its Office of Industry and Innovation was established in 2001 and is responsible for commercialising UWA's research outcomes and negotiating industry research contracts.
DSI is a market leader in the construction and mining technology sector with a strong manufacturing base. The company's products are mainly used to strengthen concrete, stabilise slopes and provide strata control for tunnels and mines. DSI's 2008 revenues were greater than AUD $1 billion and staff were 2,100. The company is headquartered in Munich, Germany.
Caption: DSI and UWA staff with Professor Potvin and a sample of mesh at the University.
Mr Derek Hird (Chief Executive Officer, DSI) (+61 2) 4948 9099 / (+61 4) 17 494 176
Dr Andy Sierakowski (+61 8) 6488 7048 / (+61 4) 08 900 698
(Director Office of Industry and Innovation, UWA)
Sally-Ann Jones (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 7975 / (+61 4) 20 790 098