The $24.9 million Victorian Centre for Sustainable Chemical Manufacturing (VCSCM) was formally launched in Clayton on Friday by Manufacturing Minister David Hodgett, who highlighted the collaboration between government, research and industry to promote sustainable manufacturing.
“Through the Victorian Coalition Government’s investment of $5.85 million over three years, this initiative fosters demand driven collaborative innovation and promotes clean and green manufacturing processes,” Mr. Hodgett said.
“The centre represents a model for how demand-driven innovation can work, with good quality science being applied to real world problems leading to real world benefits.”
The VCSCM is a consortium of academic, government and industry organizations including the Victorian Department of State Development, Business and Innovation (DSDBI), Monash University, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Plastics and Chemicals Industry Association (PACIA) and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA Victoria).
The consortium would help companies engaged in chemical, industrial, food and food ingredients manufacturing become more competitive through the application of green chemistry and chemical engineering processes across their supply chains.
According to the media release the first projects are already underway, one of which is the development of high value nutraceutical products derived from plant sources, a collaboration between VCSCM and SME’s.
New separation technologies are being applied to come up with more ways to sustainably produce pharmaceuticals and other chemicals. New approaches are also being explored to optimize chemical manufacturing based on green principles.
Mr. Hodgett said the new collaboration will give companies the chance to obtain knowledge, training and solutions to improve the sustainability of their businesses.
“From this broader perspective, there can be opportunities for business improvement through the application of “green” principles in all manufacturing companies, not just clean technology companies,” he said.
“The centre will increase awareness of the benefits of adopting sustainable manufacturing practices within the industry, demonstrating the unique research platforms of Monash University and CSIRO.”
Meanwhile VCSCM Director Professor Milton Hearn said the Centre would assist the industry in developing more sustainable manufacturing processes and innovative products.
“This strong support from the Victorian Government will enable the deployment of green and more efficient technologies, as well as improving workforce skills,” Professor Hearn said.
“These initiatives will give industry an additional competitive advantage, both nationally and internationally as they implement sustainable solutions into their businesses.”