New venture studio to fast-track clean energy solutions in resources sector

Curtin University has unveiled a new multi-million dollar venture studio to fast-track innovation in the resources industry and develop new technologies to support net-zero emissions by 2050 under the Trailblazer Universities Program.

The $18.6 million platform will build and accelerate the growth of start-ups that are focused on pioneering sustainable resources solutions.

Assistant Minister for Education, Senator the Hon. Anthony Chisholm today officially launched the Curtin Venture Studio at the Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer showcase event in Perth.

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

“This initiative signals a significant milestone in strengthening university and industry collaboration to foster entrepreneurship within the resources sector, drive economic growth and create the jobs of the future.”

The Curtin Venture Studio will provide researchers and founders with access to capital, talent, market expertise, mentorship and infrastructure to build ‘protoventures’ that will be prototyped as new enterprises based on demand driven research.

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.”

Four exciting projects tackling some of the resources and critical minerals sector’s biggest challenges have been selected to kick off the Curtin Venture Studio. These include:

  • SpiroPak: 3D-printed structured packing technology that offers cleaner and more efficient gas separation and chemical processing for industries such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and carbon capture.
  • RapidGraphite: Essential to lithium-ion batteries and other technologies for our decarbonised future, RapidGraphite is pioneering a new method to produce synthetic graphite to meet the demand for this critical mineral.
  • Semi Vapor Electrolysis: A novel method of producing green hydrogen directly from untreated sources of water. This could play a key role for energy storage, fuel and drinking water for remote communities across Australia.
  • DARC: Bringing semi and fully automated solutions to drill control and drilling fluid management which will eliminate hazardous jobs, increase drilling efficiency and minimise environmental impacts.

These teams will receive a combined $3 million in capital investment and support to develop sustainable business models through the Curtin Venture Studio.

Director of the Trailblazer program, Rohan McDougall, said the studio is set to change the landscape of innovation in the resources sector.

“Today’s launch promises a new era for research outcomes and entrepreneurship partnerships, creating more commercial opportunities and building on the progress of the Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer,” Mr McDougall said.

“The Curtin Venture Studio will play a critical role in attracting private-sector investment into fledging companies that can enhance Australia’s critical minerals downstream capabilities, specifically in the development of clean technology products.”

The Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer is a collaborative effort between Curtin University, The University of Queensland and James Cook University, supported by the Trailblazer Universities Program with funding from the Department of Education and industry partners.

For more information about Trailblazer and the Curtin Venture Studio project, please visit:

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