Curtin named ‘trailblazer’ to speed commercialisation

Perth’s Curtin University has been named the first of Australia’s Trailblazer universities to receive a share of more than $242 million in federal government funding to develop a research commercialisation hub turning research outputs into businesses.

The Curtin-led Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer hub will match $50 million of government funding to support from the university and industry partners bringing the total value of the initiative to more $200 million.

Curtin University will partner with The University of Queensland and James Cook University, and 33 company partners across Australia involved in value chains utilising lithium, nickel, cobalt, vanadium and hydrogen resources.

This initiative complements recent government announcements of a $1.25 billion backing of rare earths production by Iluka Resources and the aims of the federal government Critical Minerals Strategy.

Announcing the Trailblazer grant Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “This investment will turbocharge Australia’s critical minerals industry and backs in the State’s status as an economic powerhouse for the whole country.”

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne said the Trailblazer would drive the cultural shift needed for university staff and students to start and succeed in developing products and businesses.

Professor Hayne said: “This project speaks to everything Curtin is as a university- innovative, highly collaborative, industry-facing, impactful and community-minded, and we are proud to be able to lead this exciting partnership into the future.

“…We will use Trailblazer to affect deep and lasting change in the way technology readiness, commercialisation and industry-led research are prioritised, taught and rewarded in our universities.”

CSIRO will also be involved the Trailblazer program and will commission new Metal Binder Jet Printers valued at $6.6 million and provide mineral characterisation and analytical services to support Trailblazer research activities.

Media: Curtin University

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