Universities partnership to bring energy jobs boon

Article Republished By Javier Troconis

Scott Morrison claims 1,600 jobs will be created over four years as a result of a new government partnership with the University of New South Wales and the University of Newcastle.

The PM announced the $50 million business and research partnership, committed under the government’s Trailblazer program, on Wednesday. The universities and 27 industry partners will co-invest $220 million to the initiative.

“We are investing in new clean energy technology to turbo charge our significant investments in hydrogen to create jobs around Australia, particularly in the Hunter,” Morrison said.

“This Trailblazer funding means more jobs right here in Australia, a stronger research and development sector and a stronger economy.”

Australia’s national manufacturing priorities will be the focus of the work to develop solar technology, hydrogen storage, green metals, and rapidly deploy new technology solutions.

Trailblazer has identified five clean energy technology advances to be achieved under the program, including:

  • The development of lightweight hydrogen storage that can deliver for transport and fuel replacement needs
  • Using Green Steel technology for metals such as aluminium
  • Developing zero emissions aviation in a form suitable for regional aircraft
  • Develop affordable solar with cutting-edge engineering
  • Building a first at-scale printed solar manufacturing plant to pave the way for full commercialisation.

The government said the UNSW and University of Newcastle partnership was picked based on a two-stage competitive assessment process that involved an EOI and detailed business cases.

Acting minister for education and youth Stuart Robert said the program showed Australian industry wanted to ‘unleash a new wave of technology and innovation’.

“This Trailblazer funding means more jobs right here in Australia, a stronger research and development sector and a stronger economy,” Robert said. 

This is the third such announcement under the program to be announced, with more to be made in the weeks ahead. 

A total of $362 million has been invested in the Trailblazer universities program, which is part of the $2.2 billion University Research Commercialisation Action Plan.

Nell McGill, the Liberal candidate for Shortland, said the government was ‘heavily favouring the Hunter region’ with the investment announcement. 

 “That’s because we have the tech brilliance, both in our private sector and within the Newcastle University, that I believe, will see our region produce new and improved sources of clean energy, and other innovations,” McGill said. 

“This further support from the Morrison government for our wonderful region provides jobs for us, and for our future generations. It’s just more great news.”


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