James Cook University to develop a research commercialization hub with new federal funding

Zoe Thomas
By Zoe Thomas
Updated April 19 2022 - 7:25am, first published 2:16am
JCU vice chancellor professor Simon Biggs. Photo supplied.

James Cook University will receive a share of more than $242 million in federal government funding to develop a research commercialization hub to turn world-leading research into breakthrough ideas, products and businesses.

JCU has been selected as one of Australia's trailblazer universities as part of the Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer program.

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The program will match $50 million of government funding to more than equivalent support from the university and industry partners for a total value of the initiative of over $200 million.

JCU will partner with project lead Curtin University and the University of Queensland; as well as an additional 33 company and commercial partners across Australia involved in the technology metals, critical minerals and metals value chains.

JCU vice chancellor professor Simon Biggs said the university is excited to partner with Curtin University and the University of Queensland in the trailblazer project.

"This trailblazer will supercharge the development of our regions' technology metals and critical minerals industry and boost the economic growth of northern Australia," he said.

"It will further support, encourage and accelerate the opportunity for JCU to focus on research that delivers industry-aligned commercial outcomes.

"The projects and activities planned under the Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer have significant potential to deliver economic growth for regional and remote communities in Northern Australia."

James Cook University will receive a share of more than $242 million in federal government funding to develop a research commercialization hub. Photo supplied.

Mr Biggs said JCU prioritised support of the regional resources and critical minerals industry.

"The opportunity presented by this initiative aligns with JCU's strategic direction to increase industry-aligned research that leads to commercial outcomes," he said.

"Importantly, for the economic growth of our region, the trailblazer activities will directly engage regional small-to-medium-enterprise (SME) businesses across the resources and critical mineral sector, as they make up a large proportion of the employment in regional Northern Australia."

JCU trailblazer lead Daniel Christie said the program provides crucial funding to boost prioritised research, development and drive commercial outcomes for and with industry partners.

"Trailblazer will change the way commercialisation and the university's interaction with industry will work," he said.

"There is a huge global demand for technology minerals. The minerals that are essential for smart phones, electric vehicles, renewable energy and energy transitions.

"The trailblazer program will allow JCU to work closely with the resources sector to exploit this global surge in demand."

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Zoe Thomas

Zoe Thomas

Journalist - North Queensland Register/Queensland Country Life

Northern based journalist at North Queensland Register and Queensland Country Life.

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