Deakin Trailblazer hands 20% of funds to Recharge Industries


Brandon How
Reporter

Deakin University has awarded one-fifth of its $50 million University Trailblazer grant, received from the federal government last month, to Geelong-based Recharge Industries, a portfolio company of Scale Facilitation.

Scale Facilitaton will receive $10 million of the $50 million federal grant awarded to Deakin University’s Recycling and Renewables Energy Commercialisation Hub (REACH).

The company has secured the rights to advanced battery intellectual property from the United States which, along with Deakin University’s Trailblazer funding, will contribute to Recharge Industries’ research entity, Recharge Dynamics.

Areas of research include predictive safety systems for emerging battery technology and the reduction of battery cell wastage within large scale battery production facilities. The funding will also provide commercialisation opportunities for research and industry partners.

Recharge Industries was established in Australia in February this year as a portfolio company of Scale Facilitation. The money will fund its research and development arm Recharge Dynamics. Researchers at Deakin University will have access to the battery IP through Recharge Dynamics.

Deakin University Editorial credit: Nils Versemann / Shutterstock.com

Deakin University Deputy vice-chancellor of research Professor Julie Owens welcomed Scale Facilitation’s participation at REACH as it provides research capability as well as project management.

“There are many parts of the world which have the same needs as us – the same challenges. So it’s important that we as a nation and we as a university sector are really driving that aspect of research,” Professor Owens said.

Scale Facilitation founder and managing partner David Collard said collaboration through the REACH trailblazer would help secure global supply chains.

“Together, Australia and the United States can take the first step in generating mutually-beneficial technology transfers and fostering innovation in both countries,” Mr Collard said.

“By identifying and supporting the world-class R&D coming out of Australia, Scale Facilitation is creating an R&D pipeline but importantly providing commercialisation opportunities for Australian research and industry partners.

“This is a crucial move for universities, particularly with international student numbers down from pre-pandemic, many elite researchers taking their work overseas, and universities actively pursuing alternate revenue streams.”

This follows the partnership established between Scale Facilitation and Deakin University last year. Scale Facilitation committed $1 million to support artificial intelligence research and translation efforts at the university.

Management of Recharge Industries is being overseen by chief scale officer Robert Karmazin, who is also a Scale Facilitation Advisory Board Member. In the role Mr Karmazin will manage core research activity in Australia including the technology transfer from the United States, connecting research partners with industry, and ensuring mutual benefit is received by both countries.

He will work with Australian-based Scale Officer David Hay, who has been with Scale Facilitation since February. Mr Karmazin was a former Major General in the United States Army while Mr Hay was formerly a Colonel in the Australian Army as well as an Associate Professor of Defence Technology and Security at Deakin.

The Deakin University Trailblazer is being undertaken in partnership with RMIT, Swinburne University, the University of Southern Queensland, Federation University, and 21 industry partners. Then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he expects the trailblazer to produce more than 100 patents.

This article was updated to clarify that the funding is going towards the Geelong-based Recharge Industries, a portfolio company of Scale Facilitation.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

1 Comment
  1. REgret 6 months ago
    Reply

    Did Australia just get swindled out of $10m of tax payer money by a foreign company? Can I take a bet that Australia makes less than $10m from the US IP that will be “transferred” to Australia. Something tells me the gold nuggets won’t make it this far and we will be left with a lump of coal for Christmas.

    Labor, I thought you promised to stop this kind of behaviour?

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