Steel Research Hub wins $28M funding boost

Image from UOW

The University of Wollongong’s Steel Research Hub has received additional funding worth $28M from the Federal Government, industry partners and other universities to boost its innovations in steel processing and product development.

The Steel Research Hub will be funded for five years (2021-2025) and will be led by Dr. Paul Zulli, according to news from UOW.

$5M will come from the Australian Research Council, $13.9 million in cash and in-kind support will come from eight industry partners which include BlueScope Steel, Liberty Primary Steel, Infrabuild, ArcelorMittal, Bisalloy, Australian Steel Institute, Weld Australia and Australian Industry Group, and a further $9.5 million cash and in-kind will come from UOW, together with RMIT University, Australian National University, Swinburne University of Technology, University of Newcastle, Deakin University, University of Sydney, University of New South Wales and Monash University.

Hub Director Dr Zulli welcomed the funding announcement and said he looked forward to the Steel Research Hub strengthening its collaboration with the Australian steel industry, through delivering both new innovative research outcomes and training of a new generation of capable and influential researchers and technologists.

“A globally competitive domestic steel manufacturing industry is a strategic asset for Australia’s nation-building, economic growth and employment,” Dr Zulli said.

“The domestic industry must continue to provide a secure, flexible and high-quality local source of steel and products for infrastructure and construction, manufacturing, mining and agriculture.”

“The research outcomes delivered over the coming five years will benefit the competitiveness and future growth of large and small steel-related businesses in Australia.”

“In turn, these should positively affect key societal challenges, such as providing affordable housing and quality infrastructure, developing longer-lasting materials, recycling of resources, and training a more capable and diverse workforce.”

The Minister for Education, The Hon Dan Tehan, announced the funding today, as part of the $25M allocated for the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hubs. The other four research hubs to receive funding are projects in the areas of energy infrastructure, reclaimed waste resources, nitrogen fertilisers, and energy storage technologies.

“Our Government is investing in research that will foster strategic partnerships between university-based researchers and industry organisations, to find practical solutions to challenges facing Australian industry,” Mr Tehan said in a statement. 

“We want universities to be even more entrepreneurial and engaged with industry.”

“Our Government is investing in these research hubs to push the boundaries of our knowledge and to develop solutions that benefit Australians and improve the capacity of our university and industrial sectors.”

Meanwhile, UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Jennifer L. Martin AC said the University’s strong historic links with Australia’s steel industry put it in an ideal position to drive innovation in the industry.

“With the announcement of a new Steel Research Hub, the University of Wollongong and its industry and research partners will continue to deliver world-class research, enhancing economic and environmental outcomes for the steel industry, and ultimately benefiting all Australians.”

Image from the UOW website.