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Victoria gets first hydrogen electric bus

Transit Systems will roll out two hydrogen fuel cell buses and nine electric buses to operate from its Footscray, west Melbourne depot from March next year, adding to 41 electric buses already announced as part of the state’s Zero Emissions Bus Trial. The Transit Systems trial buses will operate on 15 school services and 26 routes in the western suburbs including in Footscray, Sunshine, Yarraville, Newport, Melton, and Williamstown. Transit Systems joins five other bus operators selected to trial electric buses on existing bus routes in Melbourne, Seymour and Traralgon, with the first trial buses due to enter service in August. The trial will provide practical information including how zero emissions buses perform and the energy and charging requirements for different types of routes. Also, bus operator Kinetic’s first two electric buses are now operating in the western suburbs of Melbourne, beginning its roll-out of an average of one electric bus per month over the next three years.

Frew Foods plans Stawell expansion

Meat processor Frew Foods International plans to expand its plant at Stawell in western Victoria, boosting employment from 500 to 750 within three years. The upgrade would nearly double production. However, according to the region’s housing shortage is making it hard to fill existing job vacancies. It is currently unable to fill 100 vacancies. Frew plans to expand lamb-processing, installing automation and a new cool room at a cost of between $40 million and $50 million.

5B lays off a quarter of workers

Rapidly deployable solar energy system maker 5B has made “dozens” of workers redundant two weeks ago, representing 25 per cent of its workforce, according to a report on on Friday. Citing challenges around material costs and supply chain issues, “short term headwinds” had made the restructure necessary. Nearly 50 jobs were cut in operations and a short-term shift in focus from projects to technology and products was flagged. “Those affected by the redundancies included project managers, supply chain co-ordinators and business operations who were part of back of house systems and processes to support the larger business,” co-founder and CEO Chris McGrath said. The company also announced the successful completion of a $30 million capital raise, with a further $20 million raise planned,

Incannex shows positive result in treating obstructive sleep apnoea

Cannabinoid pharmaceutical product Incannex Healthcare has released results of its phase 2 proof-of-concept clinical trial investigating IHL-42X for treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea (‘OSA’). IHL-42X reduced apnoea hypopnoea index (‘AHI’), improved patient reported sleep quality and was well tolerated. AHI is a measure of the number of times per hour a subject’s airway is blocked (apnoea) or partially blocked (hypopnoea). The study, conducted at the University of Western Australia Centre for Sleep Science and The Alfred Hospital, assessed three doses of IHL-42X at reducing the AHI in patients who suffered from OSA. Trial participants received each of the three doses of IHL-42X and placebo across four seven-day treatment periods, separated by one week washout periods. At the end of each treatment period, they attended the clinic for an overnight sleep study where AHI was determined, along with other measures of sleep quality, quality of life and drug safety. Incannex is developing a number of medicinal and psychedelic medicine therapies for unmet medical needs.

Wellnex Life raises $6.2 million

Wellnex Life has raised $6.2 million via secured convertible notes which will primarily go to accelerating growth into high margin, S3 designated over the counter medicinal cannabis products. The raising will also repay debt and launch a health and wellness e-commerce platform offering exclusively the company’s own-brand products. Wellnex Life relisted on the ASX a year ago, and has since signed an initial supply agreement with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and developed a number of new products.

SafetyCulture invests in IoT company Inauro

Workplace operations company SafetyCulture announced a $3 million investment into Australian data and IoT software company Inauro on Monday. Inauro was launched in 2020 by co-founders Craig Kesby and Angus Kennard “to realise the value of IoT technology across industrial applications and improve everyday operations” by linking data from sensors, devices and other digital systems in an organisation and providing a single source of data to teams. It has an international customer base in agriculture, manufacturing and construction. SafetyCulture CEO and founder, Luke Anear said, SafetyCulture collected data from 800 million workplace checks a year, many conducted manually, and “Inauro will help us to automate many of the equipment checks for our customers”

Work starts on mega wind farm

Work has begun on the MacIntyre Wind Farm precinct, a $2 billion project including Queensland’s first publicly-owned and operated wind farm and establishing the state’s second Renewable Energy Zone (REZ). The 1,026 megawatt precinct consists of two wind farms – the proposed 103 megawatt Karara Wind Farm to be owned and operated by the Queensland Government’s low-emissions generator and retailer CleanCo Queensland, and the 923 Megawatt MacIntyre Wind Farm that will be owned and operated by ACCIONA Energy Australia. State treasurer Cameron Dick said the project will create 400 project jobs during construction and support a further 220 transmission jobs, and inject over $500 million into the Southern Downs and Darling Downs regional economy during construction.

QUT team achieve photochemistry breakthrough for 3D printing

Queensland University of Technology researchers have published research in the journal Nature Communications which could lead to 3D printing methods able to cure materials with light in a layer, rather than at just one point, at a time. An interdisciplinary team — including Dr Sarah Walden, Leona Rodrigues, Dr Jessica Alves, Associate Professor James Blinco, Dr Vinh Truong, and ARC Laureate Fellow Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik — described the work as about “proving the viability of the ink for [a] future generation of printers” and using two beams of light, which only cure a liquid where they intersect. The paper, “Two-colour light activated covalent bond formation” can be accessed at this link.

Picture: Invest Victoria

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