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UNSW researchers awarded millions in funding

Sustainability Matters

February 17, 2020

The federal government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) Program has awarded UNSW Sydney researchers with millions in grants across projects including recycled waste plastics, solar technology and cobalt production.

The CRC-P Program supports collaborations between industry, researchers and the community, with a focus on linking researchers with industry to develop products with commercial uses.

Microfactory development: $3 million

UNSW Science Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla is involved in a renewable waste project that will receive $3 million in funding. Collaborating with Wosup Australia and Spark Furniture, Professor Sahajwalla and her team are developing microfactories for recycling waste plastics into engineered products.

Single-use plastics are currently stockpiled at Australian landfills and waste management sites, posing a significant national problem. The project plans to turn this enormous challenge into an opportunity to create high-quality engineered products for manufacturers via distributed microfactories.

Solar Skin commercialisation: $3 million

Flame Security International is leading a project team, which includes UNSW Engineering Professor Guan Yeoh, to commercialise a solar polymer membrane called Solar Skin. The project will receive $3 million in funding and aims to recapture Australia’s global leadership in solar technology.

Solar Skin can generate power from both direct and indirect sunlight from vertical and horizontal surfaces, potentially turning every CBD and local government area into a sustainable and green power station.

Cobalt production: $2.4 million

UNSW Science Associate Professor Suzanne Neville is involved in a project led by Cobalt Blue Holdings to assess the production of battery-grade cobalt and sulfur. The project will receive $2.4 million and, if successful, the new process will double Australia’s cobalt production.

Being an important component of rechargeable batteries, cobalt is a vital technology for a sustainable future.

Label contamination treatment: $650,000

UNSW Engineering Associate Professor Yansong Shen is involved in a project led by Pegras Asia Pacific to recycle plastics by sensing and treating label contamination. The project will receive $650,000.

UNSW Dean of Science Professor Emma Johnston is thrilled is to see so many UNSW researchers receive funding for collaborative research projects.

“It’s very exciting to see so many of our researchers using their skills to solve industry problems. Developing strong relationships with industry and community partners is essential in translating our research into positive outcomes for society,” Professor Johnston said.

Image credit: © Roach


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