Local business Ampcontrol was at the centre of an announcement by the Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Scott Morrison. The Federal Government announced a $50 million investment in a new business and research partnership between the University of Newcastle and the University of New South Wales to commercialise clean energy technologies through industry investment.
The investment into the Australian Trailblazer for Recycling and Clean Energy (ATRaCE) is the third project to receive funding through the Trailblazer program, designed to focus Australia’s research power on national manufacturing priorities and a shift to a low carbon economy.
The project will play a role in securing Australia’s economic recovery, with the investment expected to create 1,600 jobs over the next four years.
The University of Newcastle and UNSW will work with 27 industry partners including Ampcontrol to develop technology in solar, hydrogen, storage, and green metals, and rapidly deploy new technology solutions.
“Ampcontrol is thrilled to strengthen its collaboration with UNSW and the University of Newcastle’s research capability and support developing the commercial potential behind energy transition initiatives under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative and National Manufacturing Priorities (NMP).”
“The Trailblazer program presents a marvellous opportunity for Ampcontrol including furthering partnerships with the government, universities and industry peers, matched funding,” said Rod Henderson, Ampcontrol Managing Director and CEO.
Acting Minister for Education and Youth, Stuart Robert MP, said the program will see businesses come together in research and industry to develop Australian technologies, products, and businesses to create jobs and boost the economy.
“The key areas we’ll be looking to explore include the further adoption of renewable energy solutions within industrial, agricultural, and mining applications, as well as supporting the adoption and integration of electric vehicles into their site energy management.”
“Ampcontrol is already in this space with the creation of DRIFTEX, an electric vehicle for underground use to support decarbonisation in mining,” added Rod Henderson.
Ampcontrol will also explore managing increased decentralised variable renewable generation and assisting with flexible electrical demand control and responses from industrial loads.
Ampcontrol’s partnership with both UNSW and the University of Newcastle on this program is a natural progression of Ampcontrol’s support of the transition to a low carbon economy.
Ampcontrol has given a financial commitment of $1 million over the course of the program. This comes after a long-term partnership between Ampcontrol and the University of Newcastle in research and development in manufacturing and engineering solutions.
University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky AO, said the ATRaCE Trailblazer would drive the cultural shift needed to facilitate the pathway from research to commercial outcomes.
“This program will transform the way technology readiness, commercialisation and industry-led research are prioritised, taught and rewarded in our universities with targeted opportunities for university staff and students to succeed.”
“Working in partnership with energy and recycling companies, end-users, and international entities, ATRaCE will transform the way research is commercialised. It will provide clear pathways for academics and industry partners to work together to supercharge their capabilities and deliver new technologies, faster to Australians,” said Alex.
The shortlist of proposals for the Trailblazer program saw ground-breaking research commercialisation proposals across the six national manufacturing priority areas, including food and beverage, recycling and clean energy, defence, medical products, space and resources and critical technology.
“UNSW and the University of Newcastle have a huge pipeline of technologies that are aligned with growing global markets in electrification and energy systems, ‘power to X’ including hydrogen, next-generation solar PV systems, recycling and MICROfactories,” said Justine Jarvinen, CEO of UNSW’s Energy Institute.
“Our Trailblazer vision is to create a full innovation ecosystem that builds on our successful commercialisation history, accelerates impact and creates national capability,” said Justine.
The funding brings together recycling and clean energy researchers with businesses to create an entire innovation ecosystem for recycling and clean energy. Stretching from the Hunter to Sydney, it will unlock a full spectrum of existing facilities and infrastructure to support the sector.
Ampcontrol welcomes this funding which will protect Australian manufacturing jobs in the shift to renewable energy manufacturing, with the creation of more than 1,600 and up to 5,200 jobs in recycling and clean energy industries and their supply chains.
IMAGE | Pictured L-R: University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky AO, Ampcontrol CEO and Managing Director Rod Henderson, Acting Minister for Youth and Education Stuart Robert, UNSW Vice-Chancellor, and President Professor Attila Brungs
The Ampcontrol story is one full of twists and turns, with milestones achieved and celebrated by a growing workforce across the world. Yet amongst the technological firsts, awards, impressive growth and global reach, is a company founded on simple yet rock solid foundations. A philosophy of anything is possible has meant Ampcontrol's customer driven technology solutions are redefining industry expectations and leading safety in over nine countries.
Strengthened by our vertically integrated structure, Ampcontrol's technology and innovation base underpins our internal supply chain. From customised engineering to the fabrication and manufacture of product suited to the most hazardous environments, Ampcontrol is able to support our customers each step of the way.