Agilent Technologies

//Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies 2018-01-09T16:52:13+11:00

Project Description

It’s half a world away from its parent company’s global headquarters in California, but the Melbourne arm of Agilent Technologies is a world-beater in its own right.

In the past 40 years, Agilent’s Australian team has recorded many grand achievements, including turning a single invention devised in Melbourne into six unique platform technologies and more than $3 billion worth of products sold around the globe.

Back in the 1950s, a team of Australian chemists led by Sir Alan Walsh at the CSIRO devised a technique known as atomic absorption spectroscopy, said to be one of the most significant advances in chemical analysis in the 20th century.

Agilent Technologies has since commercialised that technology to create measurement tools that can be used to measure the quality of air, food and water, along with medicines, mining samples and countless other materials.

Last year the company opened a new $25 million, state-of-the art facility in Melbourne, providing world class research, development and global communications infrastructure for the Australian-based team. Vice president of spectroscopy products for Agilent, Philip Binns, says the new building has helped lay the foundations for the next 20 years of operations.

The Melbourne site – the global headquarters of Agilent’s spectroscopy business – is part of a huge growth spurt for the multinational’s Australian operations, which doubled in size when Agilent acquired scientific equipment maker Varian in 2010.

Mr Binns says the new facility has led to improvements in how Agilent employees work, and the way in which they bring products to the market. More than 10 per cent of revenue is invested back into research and development.

Global communication systems in the new building have also reduced the time to market for Agilent’s products, with staff in Melbourne now able to speak in a live setting to someone in a lab on the other side of the world.

“The key for us is staying connected with our global customers, whilst developing new technology and getting it to market,” Mr Binns says. “Staying ahead of the competition is a challenge; it’s becoming more of a race to develop your intellectual property and then commercialise it.”

Two major products have already been developed and released to global markets at the new centre.

Mr Binns believes global collaboration will be one of the keys to Agilent’s continued success, particularly when it comes to accessing intellectual property. “Competing against increasingly global companies is a big challenge,” he says.

Competition emerging from countries such as China and India will also play an increasing role in the future.

However, with double-digit growth, Agilent is continuing to march forward in a tough manufacturing industry, setting its sights on high potential growth areas for scientific measurement tools including food safety, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, and the developing global markets for advanced materials and energy related industries.

Project Details