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Executive Director appointed at Trailblazer for Recycling and Clean Energy

Manufacturing News

Research and commercialisation specialist Professor Emmanuel Mastio has been appointed as head of the new Australian Trailblazer for Recycling and Clean Energy, which is led by University of New South Wales and University of Newcastle.

The new Executive Director is described as an “inventor, engineer, and research and development leader” and comes to the Trailblazer via the Future Fuels Cooperative Research Centre, where he was a commercialisation consultant and IP advisor.

Trailblazers were an initiative of the former federal government, and worth $362 million funding in total, aimed at improving the commercialisation of publicly-funded R&D. Each has a term of four years.

“Collaboration between universities and SME partners is vital to bridge the translation gap, or ‘missing middle’, and turn research into commercially viable end solutions,” said Mastio in a statement on Friday.

“We need to develop new practices that make our universities more porous and grow the diffusion capacity of the recycling and clean energy sector.”

Mastio’s Trailblazer includes 27 industry partners – 23 of them small (under 20 employees) businesses – and had pledged to contribute a total of $220 million cash and in-kind through their bid. According to UNSW, the centre “aims to propel disruptive technologies out of the lab and into local manufacturing and global deployment.”

It will work around priority areas of solar and PV systems, electrification, energy and storage systems, sustainable fuels and chemicals, and recycling and MICROfactories.

The news follows the appointment, announced at the beginning of the month, of Dr Sanjay Mazumdar as Executive Director of the Defence Trailblazer for Concept to Sovereign Capability (CSC). CSC is led by UNSW and the University of Adelaide.

A Trailblazer focusses on a theme within manufacturing – including mineral processing, defence, and space – with $50 million in federal money per centre supplemented by cash and in-kind contributions from university and industry partners.

Picture: credit UNSW

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