The federal government will provide $100 million via the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Grants program in South Australia, to integrate clean energy into heavy manufacturing industries like steel, aluminium and cement and support the growth of the marine bio-products sector.
While $39 million will establish the Heavy Industry Low-carbon Transition Cooperative Research Centre (HILT CRC), $59 million will establish the Marine Bio-products Cooperative Research Centre (MB-CRC). The HILT CRC will be led by the University of Adelaide and Flinders University will lead MB-CRC.
HILT CRC will be backed by an additional $175.7 million in funding, focusing on using clean energy sources such as hydrogen, ammonia and solar into high-heat and high-emissions manufacturing processes.
This centre will secure the future of heavy industries Australia-wide, lowering costs and establishing a reputation for high-quality, low-carbon, value-added products exports, minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said.
“In order to remain internationally competitive, it is crucial that our heavy industries begin the transition to lower cost and cleaner energy technology to secure the long-term future of their operations,” Porter said.
“By connecting those industries with our best and brightest minds from within our major research institutions – coupled with the significant funding that’s now available to fast-track this work – we expect real-world solutions can be delivered within the 10-year life of the CRC.”
Almost 50 partner organisations are involved including Alcoa, Boral, OneSteel Manufacturing, Rio Tinto Aluminium, South32, the Australian National University and the CSIRO.
Meanwhile, there will be over $200 million in additional partner support for the MB-CRC. The marine bio-products sector includes manufacturers of omega-3 oils and nutraceuticals, cosmetics, agrochemicals and bioplastics derived from seaweed, algae and other marine life.
The potential for growth in this sector is huge, especially as demand increases for cleaner and more sustainable products like bioplastics, both domestically and internationally.
“Whether it’s plastics, steel or aluminium, the world is demanding cleaner and greener products, which is why we will continue to back technology-driven solutions that will transition Australia into a lower carbon economy,” federal finance minister and senator for South Australia Simon Birmingham said.
“Investing in cleaner technology will play a critical part in helping Australia to meet and beat our emissions reductions targets, without damaging our existing industries and also helping to build new industries for our future.”
Annual CRC grants selection rounds are undertaken over two assessment stages with applications reviewed by the CRC Advisory Committee of Industry Innovation and Science Australia. The opportunity to apply under the next CRC Grant round (Round 23) opened on 30 June.
More details on the CRC Grants Round 22 outcomes and the grant guidelines for Round 23 can be found here: business.gov.au/crc