Deakin-led Trailblazer to fund more commercialisation projects

Brandon How

Deakin University is calling for expressions of interest from businesses wanting to invest in research and commercialisation projects as part of its Recycling and Clean Energy Commercialisation Hub.

Co-contribution funding is available for manufacturing projects that are in the priority industry areas of energy storage, hydrogen and carbon fibre, and recycling.

Deakin will consider proposals from businesses that wish to invest in research-led innovation projects that are valued between $2 million and $50 million.

Deakin University. Photo: Nils Versemann/

Target businesses include those that have “a compelling market opportunity”, “ideas for breakthrough technologies or novel solutions”, or “desire to pilot a new technology/process, change the way they do things, step into a new market or scale-up”, according to Deakin.

The Recycling and Clean Energy Commercialisation Hub (REACH) is a part of the University Trailblazer program initiated under the former Coalition government to pilot new partnership models supporting university-industry research and commercialisation.

Grant agreements worth $50 million were signed with the six lead universities in late 2022 and run until 2026.

Overall, REACH is backed by $380 million worth of university, government, and industry commitments. It aims to deliver 80 per cent of its projects in regional areas like Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Warrnambool.

Although REACH is located at Deakin’s Geelong Future Economy Precinct, it is being delivered in partnership with University of Southern Queensland and Federation University.

Deakin’s executive director for REACH, Amy Hunter, said the hub would accelerate the development and scale-up of manufacturing supply chain technologies.

“By combining the brightest minds from industry and world-class researchers we have the power to push the limits of technology innovation and put Australia at the forefront globally of the transition from a throughput economy to a circular economy,” Ms Hunter said.

“We’re looking for partners who have compelling ideas for novel solutions, who want to pilot new technologies or processes, or who want to scale-up and commercialise projects to capture new markets.”

Tom Hussey, the chief executive of founding REACH partner and textile and coating- focused tech company Xefco, said the Trailblazer program provides the support to cross the funding ‘valley of death’ “that is substantially overlooked by other government programs”.

“This support is helping us and others to bridge the gap from early-stage research to successful commercialisation of our technology,” he said.

Expressions of interest to join REACH will be accepted until May 3, 2024.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

Leave a Comment

Related stories