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ANFF ACT Node Officially Opened

November 2011

Kim CarrNovember 2, 2011 saw the official opening of the ANFF ACT Node - an event a long time in the planning, but well worth the wait. Professor Chennupati Jagadish (the Node Director) introduced the speakers including Dr Bob Frater (ANFFL Chairman and Board Member), Rosie Hicks (ANFFL CEO), Professor Lawrence Cram (ANU DVC) and, of course, Senator the Hon Kim Carr - Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science & Research (now ex-minister).

Senator Carr addressed about 100 invitees made up of executive and staff from the host university (ANU), the University of Western Australia, CSIRO, industry clients, ANFFL Board members, the IAS, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science & Research and others.

"Already, researchers using this node have developed an innovative approach to making high-performance nanowire solar cell technology which will contribute to Australia's low carbon future," Senator Carr said. "This will make solar cells more economically viable by increasing their energy conversion efficiency and reducing the cost of manufacturing by enabling larger scale production."

Senator Carr said the Australian Government had recognised the ANFF's importance by investing $91 million from the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and the Education Investment Fund Super Science initiative.

"This is a fine example of how important high quality research infrastructure is to Australia's innovation system. World-class research is the key to a thriving innovation system and world-class research requires world-class tools. ANFF research is helping to retain highly skilled Australian research scientists in Australia, benefiting not just the Australian economy, but the Australian community with their skills," Senator Carr said.

unveiling the plaqueProfessor Jagadish and Professor Jim Williams (ANU RSPE Director) also spoke about the facility before inviting Senator Carr to unveil the plaque and conducting tours of the facility. "These facilities will be used to develop the next generation of photonic chips for fast communication systems as well as developing high performance nanowire solar cells for Australia's low-carbon future," Professor Jagadish said.

A number of the invited guests took the opportunity to take a guided tour of the facilities highlighting the flagship equipment and laboratory infrastructure the ANFF project had made possible. An informal barbeque lunch was held after the tours (with generous assistance from both staff and students from RSPE and EME) providing a pleasant conclusion to the event with attendees from all sectors mingling and discussing the merits of this terrific initiative. And from all accounts a great time was had by all.

Additional press releases, articles and photo's can be found at these sites (photo's courtesy of Tim Wetherell, RSPE):

More photographs from the day are available here.