Nanomaterials proved to be the ‘strongest element’ at a recent Sustainability in Space Pitch Challenge, with Boeing to invest up to $100,000 in White Graphene’s winning nanomaterials technology concept.
The Queensland startup was one of six who pitched to industry experts on how their technologies could solve sustainability challenges in space, including health and wellbeing, energy and protection 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.
“The Aerospace Xelerated Pitch event was a tremendous platform for the company to demonstrate the potential of boron nitride nanomaterials to Boeing and the broader space and aerospace industry,” said Lieuwke de Jong, commercial director for White Graphene. “We have invested significant time and resources to create the manufacturing methodology that allows us to produce the required nanomaterials in a range of forms for commercial applications, and we look forward to seeing where this exciting new partnership with Boeing can take us.”
Now in its third year, the Aerospace Xelerated Pitch challenge hosted by Boeing and Advance Queensland provides a platform for Queensland-based businesses to gain access and exposure to key tech industry stakeholders, provide valuable insights into the future of space exploration and Australia’s role in advancing the industry.
“Supporting Queensland startups to find global investors to develop world-changing ideas and Queensland’s jobs of the future is exactly what our Advance Queensland initiative is all about,” said Stirling Hinchliffe, Queensland Innovation Minister. “Boeing’s interest in White Graphene’s advanced nanomaterial, which is four times lighter than steel but 138 times stronger, could be an important first step in creating revolutionary, made in Queensland technology.”