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Envirostream to recycle LG lithium batteries

Battery recycler Envirostream has signed an exclusive three year agreement with LG Energy Solutions to recycle all its recalled lithium ion batteries collected in Australia. Envirostream, a subsidiary of Lithium Australia, expects significantly increased battery collection volumes equating to 140 percent of the company’s total in FY23. LG has around 14 percent of global battery markets. During the term Envirostream has exclusive rights to provide battery recycling services to LG in Australia.

Birdon fights fire on Sydney Harbour

Port Macquarie maritime engineer Birdon Group has launched two new firefighting vessels (pictured) built for the Port Authority of New South Wales. The Burra and Girawaa are the fastest response vessels ever commissioned by Port Authority and were launched in Sydney Harbour in January this year. Girawaa is the Dharawal word for Stingray while Burra is the word for eel in multiple Aboriginal languages. The vessels can spray up to 16,000 litres of water per minute, travel at a speed of 27 knots (50km per hour), are capable of turns of 360 degrees and can project water to 90 metres. According to Birdon, these vessels will help the Port Authority NSW respond to over 1000 incidents per year in Sydney ports alone, including vessel fires, oil pollution and water rescues.

Felix system sales accelerate in Japan

Biotechnology company Memphasys has announced that Vitrolife has increased its orders for the company’s Felix system for separating healthy sperm prior to in vitro fertilisation procedures. Vitrolife has placed an order for six additional Felix consoles and 200 Felix cartridges to be supplied to six additional IVF clinics. Vitrolife has now ordered a total of nine consoles and 500 cartridges. The Felix system uses an electrical force to separate sperm into its healthier parts, increasing the changes of pregnancy. Training is also underway for Vitrolife staff in Canada and New Zealand.

Hazer Group raises $12 million for hydrogen process

Technology development company the Hazer Group has announced its share purchase plan had been oversubscribed, raising $5.3 million, well over the target of $4 million. The funds along with the $9 million raised from institutional investors last month will fund its commercial demonstration plant, the first large-scale demonstration of the HAZER low-emission hydrogen and graphite production process. The company said it had started the year by successfully demonstrating commercial-scale production utilising natural gas and similar feedstocks and iron ore as a process catalyst. They have since announced the continuous operation of the Commercial Demonstration Plant for over 36 hours.

Cyclopharm’s Technegas images first US patients

Radiopharmaceutical company Cyclopharm has announced that the first US patients have been imaged using the company’s Technegas imaging system. This follows approval of the inhaled radiopharmaceutical by the US Food and Drug Administration. VEO James McBrayer said: “US patients are now benefitting from our Technegas technology, joining those in 64 other countries globally where our leading imaging solution is already established.” The company said it was continuing to accelerate strong clinical demand into contract sign off.

MGA to hire R&D Manager

Thermal energy storage solution company MGA Thermal is seeking a new R&D Manager. Following news last week of its CEO and Chief Scientist appointments, the company announced that is looking to hire someone to oversee three key R&D areas, covering improvements to the properties of the core Block product, development of new formulations for this, development and refinement of in-house testing, and providing R&D services and advice to other departments. The materials science or chemistry specialist would also “play a vital role in driving research that contributes directly to global decarbonisation” according to MGA. More information on the role, based at the company’s Tomago, Newcastle site, is available here.

Moderna Australia opens applications for fellowship program

NASDAQ-listed biotech business Moderna announced on Wednesday that it is seeking applications for its 2024 Australia Fellowship Program. The program was launched last year, and will award two fellowships “to exceptional Australian researchers working on concepts that have the potential to enable the advancement of mRNA medicines” according to a statement from the company. Dr Craig Rayner, Director of the Regional Research Centre for Respiratory Medicines and Tropical Diseases, said last year delivered high-calibre researchers with potential to contribute to mRNA medicines. “…[W]e are excited to maintain this momentum, supporting the brightest  minds in Australia’s scientific community and fostering research that has the potential to lead to groundbreaking mRNA medical treatments,” he added. Applications are open until June 30, and more information is available here

UOW’s lunar rover team heads to Rover Challenge

A student team from the University of Wollongong (UOW) has been selected to participate in the Australian Rover Challenge (ARCh), hosted by the University of Adelaide, and representing a first for UOW. ARCh is an annual robotics competition where university teams from here and abroad design and custom-build semi-autonomous rovers that compete across a lunar mission, in a simulated lunar environment. A group of 14 students, competing as the UOW Rover Team, will participate in the 2024 ARCh in Adelaide from Wednesday March 20 until Sunday 24 March 24, competing against ten Australian teams as well as those from Poland, India and Bangladesh. Dr Joseph Polden, Research Fellow from UOW’s Facility for Intelligent Fabrication, said the team’s “self-sufficiency, efficiency and technical achievement are seriously impressive. Polden added, “The students are handling everything, from organising weekly progress meetings to tackling all the technical aspects of the rover’s design.”

Picture: Birdon Group/built two new firefighting vessels

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