Space Tank proud finalist in the 2018 Melbourne Awards

We are thrilled to announce that the Space Tank makerspace incubator for manufacturing startups was a chosen finalist in the 2018 Melbourne Awards celebrating the inspirational Melburnians who dedicate their time and energy for the benefit of our city.

During a Gala dinner at Melbourne’s Town Hall, Lord Mayor Sally Capp commentated on how significant the event is, “The Melbourne Awards is our City’s highest accolade to recognise people and organisations that make a fantastic contribution to this city with the biggest award being the Melbournian of the year.”

Space Tank was the only finalist representing startups. The Makerspace can be better described as a product development incubator filling the manufacturing gap in Melbourne’s startup scene by providing a commercial pathway for engineers, innovative designers and product developers to enter high impact markets. Space Tank positions Australia as a leader in the global maker movement.

Space Tank has come a long way in only five years of growth. To be considered of the same calibre as organisations like the MCG, Second Bite and the MPavilion is quite an achievement.

Just two months ago, Minister for Innovation, The Hon. Philip Dalidakis received a personal tour of the incubator by Space Tank’s founder Holger Dielenberg to experience where the LaunchVic funded Bench to Business Training Program takes place.

The Bench to Business training program has attracted 50 razor sharp product development startups who are completing user centred design, prototyping technology and business skills training. Candidates were selected on their readiness to commercialise their intellectual property and enter export markets.

Minister Dalidakis came face to face with emerging innovators tackling global challenges in Space Tank’s Tech Lab; Marteen Burger from ‘Jaunt’ pitched their electric vehicle concept and this November were selected for Prince Andrew’s Pitch@Palace competition, Brodwen Mc Bain presented a new medical prosthetic under consideration for global patents and Saeed Dadvar unveiled a new disruptive technique for 3D printing of carbon composite products that is attracting attention from European interests

With the departure of auto manufacturers, Aussie industries are now on an accelerating change curve. We are witnessing the end of a pioneering industrial era and the dawn of new advanced manufacturing processes and profoundly disruptive product development from the emerging sector.

For Australia the theme of change runs to the heart of our current of manufacturing malaise. But at Space Tank we like to think that industries are not dying, they are evolving. Aussie automotive departure makes room for startups with fresh ideas to sprout.

One of Space Tank’s notable startup residents, Bastion Cycles have gone on to achieve great success in overseas markets. Bastion Cycles co-founder Benjamin Schultz clearly identified a gap in the private high performance sports market. After successfully prototyping their carbon fibre and 3D printed titanium bikes, Bastion outgrew Space Tank and scaled their custom manufacturing business. With 70% of their total sales now going to export, this year Bastion are set to hit their first million dollar annual turnover!

Emerging manufacturing remains the innovation ‘blind-spot’ in Melbourne’s startup scene and Space Tank has taken a lead to bridge this gap. Business incubators generally cater to desk orientated businesses, leaving product developers and manufacturing startups out in the cold. This is significant because a maker’s journey is a lot harder and there are many more hurdles to negotiate. A healthy economy needs to support its emerging makers because a strong manufacturing cluster supports more parallel industries than any other sector.

With technology turning manufacturing into a white collar industry, one of the most exciting trends at Space Tank is that women are competing in advanced manufacturing and design centric engineering. The blue collar days of male dominated factory floors are well and truly over. As computer aided manufacturing becomes the norm, we are seeing more women using Space Tank.

Minister Dalidakis congratulated Space Tank’s achievements while acknowledging that advanced manufacturing is growing in Melbourne.

“It’s incredibly impressive to see how Space Tank is supporting our young entrepreneurs and product makers. To provide a facility to enable young developers to expand is really exciting.”

“It means that we have an ability to not just talk about our advanced manufacturing capabilities but actually support people as they take on this pathway.”

After five years of successful operation and growth, Space Tank is now ready to invest in high end advanced manufacturing infrastructure to meet demand. Holger said, “Space Tank has a proven track record that demonstrates every time we upgrade our manufacturing technology offering, we attract higher calibre innovators and product developers.”

“Melbourne has a huge population of hungry product developers who are eager to take on the world – Space Tank is providing them with a runway.”