$18.6 million Perth studio to fast-track Australia’s critical minerals revolution

Senator the Hon Anthony Chisholm
Assistant Minister for Education
Assistant Minister for Regional Development

Assistant Minister for Education and Regional Development, Anthony Chisholm will unveil the $18.6 million Curtin Venture Studio today, which aims to fast track innovation and develop new technologies to support Australia’s transition to net zero.

The Curtin Venture Studio is part of the $195 million Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer, which support efforts to advance breakthrough business ideas to support Australia’s decarbonisation efforts.

The studio will bring resources industry specialists and university research teams together to fast-track the development of new products and services to support resources sector productivity and Australia’s critical minerals industries.

The Albanese Government wants to see a Future Made in Australia, and it’s projects like this that will encourage investment in new industries, create secure jobs, and encourage more manufacturing locally.

Assistant Minister Chisholm said the initiative signals a significant milestone in strengthening university and industry collaboration to foster entrepreneurship within the resources and critical minerals sectors.

“Investment into this sector doesn’t just start onsite, it also needs to start with research and development, and with facilities like the Curtin Venture Studio.

“Western Australia is home to the resources the world needs to reach net zero and this Trailblazer program is developing solutions to help tackle some of the resources sector’s biggest challenges, so we can hit that target,” Assistant Minister Chisholm said.

The Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer is one of six projects to receive $50 million as part of the $370.3 million Australian Government’s Trailblazer Universities Program, with $45 million also supporting the universities to partner with the CSIRO to access specialist equipment and expertise.

“There are already promising signs, with researchers working to develop an environmentally friendly cement alternative and improving how synthetic graphite is made to meet future demands. While other researchers are developing new ways to make hazardous jobs in the resources sector safer.” Assistant Minister Chisholm said.

“The Curtin Venture Studio will support Australia’s transition to renewable energy, but also create employment opportunities throughout regional Australia. We expect 40 per cent of this Trailblazer’s activities to take place in the regions, with an estimated $30 million to be spent in regional areas through its industry partners and suppliers.”

The Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer is led by Curtin University in partnership with the University of Queensland, James Cook University and more than 20 industry partners.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne said the University was proud to be front and centre of efforts advancing breakthrough business ideas to support Australia’s decarbonisation efforts.

“The Curtin Venture Studio is a transformative model when embedded in a university and we are delighted to be the first in Australia to do so,” Professor Hayne said.

“This initiative demonstrates our commitment to equipping Australian researchers and entrepreneurs with the resources and support necessary to create new opportunities that meet industry demand.”

The Curtin Venture Studio will also provide researchers and founders with access to capital, talent, market expertise, capability building and mentorship. This includes infrastructure and equipment to fast track the building of ‘protoventures’, which are successful enterprises based on demand driven research.

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