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Griffith and tech firm partner to address the UN SDG challenges

Image Credits: Griffith University, Australia, Press Release

Griffith University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with award-winning independent technology company Everledger, founded by the current Queensland Chief Entrepreneur.

The firm is an independent technology company helping businesses surface and converge asset information, using a symphony of secure technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, intelligent labelling and Internet of Things.

The new partnership is expected to deliver a wealth of opportunities for researchers within Griffith Business School, given the company’s strong global market position and network.

The Griffith Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) said the collaboration was an exciting opportunity to extend the reach of innovative research being undertaken at Griffith.

The MoU outlines the mutual intention to work together over the next three years in addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) challenges, in line with shared values and goals around a circular economy, sustainable enterprise, and responsible leadership.

It will include joint research projects and development of innovative technology or service delivery of interest and benefit to both Griffith and the firm across a range of subject areas.

As part of the post-COVID-19 economic recovery strategy, Australia needs to invest and focus on responsible manufacturing and recalibrate its workforce to be more digital-ready and innovative to differentiate our impact on production and consumption.

The CEO of the company Kemp said the work underway with Everledger and Griffith University provided a unique position to affect change.

It will foster the move from the wasteful linear economy model to a more viable and sustainable circular economy.

Recycling technology isn’t good enough! Most plastics that are recycled are shredded and reprocessed into lower-value applications, such as polyester carpet fibre; only two percent are recycled into products of the same or similar quality.

This is largely due to limitations in how plastics can be sorted by chemical composition and cleaned of additives. Australia needs better recycling technology that can maintain quality and purity so that product manufacturers are willing to use recycled plastics.

The wrong business models are being used. Companies should also design products for circularity. For example, if lithium-ion battery manufacturers designed their products with similar mixtures of chemicals, it would allow for more recycling because recyclers could standardize their process.

The partnership will deliver development opportunities for the company’s staff including seminars, workshops and professional education and the opportunity for university coursework or curriculum development utilising Everledger expertise.

It will also provide unique and compelling benefits for Griffith University students through research-led, industry-engaged, and market-shaping collaboration towards achieving inclusive economic growth.

Already, work has begun on a series of Research and Development projects to co-develop technology-enabled tools to identify and trace objects in various industries, led by the firm’s head of ANZ region and Griffith’s Business Strategy and Innovation researcher.

“Mapping the journey of a tyre (as a precious material) for instance is very important to maximise its lifetime and value,” the Professor said.

The project will focus on combining AI into a supply chain system for enabling a faster process of tracking a tyre from its original/manufactured state, to its subsequent use over time until its end of life. The outcome will contribute towards both economic and waste management impacts.

The supply chain system will integrate end-customers to improve transparency and traceability. The AI will help to capture and identify a tyre’s unique features, and its conditions variations (e.g. wear and tear of the threads) to provide more transparent tracking of its lifetime and usage.

Using a sophisticated combination of AI and technology-enabled tools, the team also wants to be able to detect replica luxury watches without dissembling them, which is an important capability to protect the reputation and prestige of the manufacturing companies.

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