Chemist Warehouse is Australia’s largest pharmacy group
employing more than 10,000 people, with an annual revenue approaching A$3
billion. It has also led the move to online pharmacies with five specialist
e-commerce websites, dispatching orders to customers’ homes throughout the
country from a network of distribution centers.
study looks at how Australia’s largest pharmacy group protects
customer medical record and data through
secure and reliable IT solutions.
2000, Chemist Warehouse is one of Australia’s most remarkable business success
stories, doubling sales and growing its national store network from 100 to more
than 400 stores in just five years.
previous acquisitions, the business had acquired a wide range of legacy IT
systems, software, suppliers and contracts. This means that the organisation is
faced with an inevitably wide variations in both quality and performance of
these IT systems. This environment consumed much of management’s time to deal
with the impact of virus attacks and system downtime.
“We were at the start of our current journey and, in a
nutshell, we needed a partner to go with us,” Mr Deni Ilic, IT Systems Manager
at Chemist Warehouse recalled.
family-owned business embarked on its current growth strategy, Chemist
Warehouse was looking for an IT security partner.
“Even at that stage we were a large and complex business
with quite specific requirements.”
With over 400 stores, 5 online pharmacies, some 4,500
licences and 400 virtual servers, the company was looking for a reliable IT
solution that could ensure
complete protection of large quantities of confidential customer medical
records and data, and enable the company to fully comply with its Payment Card
Industry (PCI) requirements.
After an exhaustive process including reviewing independent
reports, proof of concept demonstrations, trials – and the all-important test
of personal chemistry – Chemist Warehouse selected Kaspersky Endpoint Security
for Business Advanced and Kaspersky Security for Virtualization.
“We trust them to look after our interests and in a
family-owned, family-orientated business, trust is vitally important. They are
a highly-regarded member of our extended family,” said Mr Ilic.
The high level of customer satisfaction and trust is a
result of quality product and service delivery.
“We felt that the Kaspersky Lab team took the time to really
understand us and our business objectives, for the short and the long term, and
that their solution could be shaped very precisely for our needs, then and in
the future. It felt instinctively like a good fit,” he added.
Over the past five years Chemist Warehouse has built up a
portfolio of some 4,500 licences providing multi-layered protection for
workstation and laptop endpoints, including employees’ own devices, supported
by 400 more to protect its virtual server environment. The platform by
Kaspersky Lab helped to provide the foundations and the confidence for a period
of unprecedented growth for the business, with online transactions doubling
year-on-year and 40 new retail stores opening each year.
According to Mr Ilic, the solution became the company’s
“first line of defence”.
“The central management console gives us just the right
level of information and oversight we need and it’s designed with end users in
mind; intuitive, easy to use and with many automated features such as remote
update distribution,” he said.
“It is stable and reliable, it performs extremely well, has
met all of our expectations, and we haven’t had any significant downtime in the
five years we have been using it. We are very happy with it, in particular
because it has been such a solid foundation stone for us during a remarkable
period of growth. Growing at the speed we have has risks attached, and the
Kaspersky Lab platform has helped us to manage some of those risks very
effectively,” he added.
All information in this case
study is provided by Kaspersky Lab.
The Queensland Earth Observation Hub (QLD EO Hub) convened a workshop in Brisbane that served as a significant step in harnessing the potential of Earth Observation (EO) technologies, data, and workflows for the benefit of Australia.
The initial findings from a comprehensive market engagement study were presented. This study spanned a diverse range of EO and industry sectors and aimed to illuminate both the challenges and opportunities that Queensland, and by extension, the broader Australian landscape, faces in embracing EO technologies not only in the present but also in the foreseeable future.
This market study embarked on an extensive consultation process, engaging with stakeholders across urban and rural Queensland. It encompassed the entire spectrum of the EO ecosystem, from data and service providers to end-users, as well as those contemplating the utilisation of EO in the years ahead.
The core objective was to gain profound insights into the current capabilities, hurdles, and potential avenues for growth within Queensland’s EO community. Additionally, it sought to cultivate a vision of what the future could hold in terms of EO technology deployment.
The preliminary findings of this study were shared with workshop participants, fostering constructive discussions, and eliciting valuable feedback. Notably, these findings unveiled several significant opportunities that Australia can capitalize on over the next 2-5 years:
- Collaboration and Alignment: A key opportunity identified is the enhancement of collaboration and alignment among research institutions, industries, and government entities. This entails improving communication to raise awareness of shared needs and capabilities while also facilitating the transfer of skills and knowledge between these sectors. Such collaboration can foster innovation and synergy.
- Commercialisation of Research: The commercialisation of research emerged as another promising avenue. By facilitating partnerships between research organisations and industries, pathways for the practical application of research outcomes can be forged. This approach can bridge the gap between academic research and real-world industry needs.
- Building Capacity for Global Markets: Queensland can further promote its capabilities in EO technologies and services, connecting local industries to national and international markets. This entails not only showcasing Queensland’s strengths but also attracting investments that can fuel the growth of this sector, contributing to the nation’s economic prosperity.
- Workforce Development: Facilitating access to new and in-demand skills and knowledge transfer is vital for nurturing a skilled workforce in the EO sector. Promoting careers in Earth Observation can bolster the human capital needed to support the sector’s growth and innovation.
The insights garnered from this study and the associated workshop will serve as the foundation for crafting a strategic roadmap. This roadmap will guide the Queensland EO Hub in its role of unlocking the future potential of the downstream EO sector, not just for Queensland but for Australia as a whole. Anticipated in the coming months is the release of the full report by SmartSat, which will provide a comprehensive overview of the study’s findings and recommendations.
In a parallel effort to advance the field of Earth Observation, a symposium titled “Advances in Earth Observation: Hyperspectral Data Analysis” was recently hosted by the University of the Sunshine Coast with support from the QLD EO Hub and SmartSat. The symposium aimed to showcase the strides made in remote sensing technology through lectures, hands-on demonstrations, and training sessions. This educational event empowered participants with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively work with spatial data using remote sensing tools, with applications spanning various domains.
The Chief Executive Officer of SmartSat delved into SmartSat’s activities in the realm of water quality, shedding light on initiatives like the AquaWatch mission. Additionally, he provided insights into the upcoming Kanyini mission, which promises to leverage Hyperspectral Imager technology coupled with Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things connectivity. These cutting-edge advancements have the potential to revolutionise how we monitor and manage water quality, offering significant benefits to both Queensland and Australia as a whole.
Attendees had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with tools such as R and ENVI for hyperspectral image analysis, equipping them with practical skills that can be applied to real-world challenges. This knowledge dissemination is vital for bolstering Australia’s technological capabilities in the EO domain.
A comprehensive overview of SmartSat CRC’s Maya Nula program was also presented. This program aims to develop continent-wide crop and yield monitoring capabilities, a critical aspect of agricultural management. By harnessing EO technologies and data, this initiative holds the potential to revolutionize agriculture in Australia, enhancing productivity and sustainability.
Special acknowledgements were extended to Associate Professor Sanjeev Srivastava from the University of South Australia and Dr. Prashant Kumar Srivastava from Banaras Hindu University, India, for their valuable contributions and leadership during the event. Dr. Srivastava’s attendance was supported through the SmartSat Visiting Fellowship scheme, exemplifying the commitment to international collaboration and knowledge exchange.
OpenGov Asia earlier reported that SmartSat, in conjunction with the ACT Government, unveiled a suite of research and development (R&D) projects, signalling a profound commitment to advancing space technology and capabilities in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
This collaboration has seen their joint investment in the ACT’s space endeavours soar past a significant milestone, reaching over AU$7 million. The announcement coincides with the launch of the ACT Space Update 2023, highlighting the organisation’s dedication to contributing to the region’s growing reputation as a hub for cutting-edge space research.
The Minister for Finance, Minister for Women, and Minister for the Public Service of Australia provided updates on technology and digital identity-related legislation. The Minister delved into the topic of Digital ID and its significance for Australia’s future.
The primary focus of the address was the introduction of the draft Digital ID legislation, marking the commencement of consultations for the exposure draft. She highlighted that Digital ID is akin to an online version of presenting one’s passport or driver’s license to verify their identity but without relinquishing the physical document. It aims to provide a secure and convenient way to verify identity online.
The draft Digital ID legislation, now open for consultation, represents a significant milestone in Australia’s efforts to create a national Digital ID system. The Minister outlined four guiding principles for this system: security, convenience, voluntariness, and inclusivity. She stressed that Digital ID would remain voluntary, ensuring alternate channels for those who prefer not to use it.
Moreover, Digital ID is seen as a means to enhance inclusion by bringing government services online and extending their accessibility to underserved communities, including individuals with disabilities. However, the Minister emphasised that those unable or unwilling to obtain a Digital ID would still have access to government services through traditional channels.
The current system, which operates without legislation, allows individuals with Digital IDs to verify their identity without repeatedly providing sensitive documents. Nevertheless, it has limitations, as it is not yet a nationwide system and private sector providers cannot verify individuals against government-issued ID documents. The government envisions a national Digital ID system as an important economic, productivity, and security reform, and efforts are underway to address these shortcomings.
To ensure trust, data protection, and choice in the Digital ID system, the draft legislation establishes governance arrangements, a regulator (with the ACCC as the interim regulator), and privacy safeguards. Senator Gallagher emphasised the need for explicit consent for sharing identity information, the secure deletion of biometric data, and the prohibition of using identity data for direct marketing purposes.
Additionally, the Minster announced the formation of an AI taskforce, in collaboration with colleague Ed Husic, to ensure responsible and safe usage of AI across government agencies. AI has the potential to improve productivity within the APS and enhance government services, but it also requires careful management to mitigate risks.
The government is committed to creating boundaries and safeguards for emerging technologies like AI. The AI Taskforce will assess the risks and benefits of different AI systems within the public service.
The upcoming release of the first Long Term Insights Brief on AI and trust in public service delivery was also mentioned. Four key findings from the brief highlighted the importance of designing AI with integrity, preserving empathy in service design, enhancing public service performance, and investing in AI literacy and digital connectivity for all Australians.
The Minister expressed her determination to see the establishment of an Australian Digital ID system through legislation, despite the challenges and opposition. She acknowledged that it has been an eight-year work in progress, but she believes it is a worthy project with significant benefits for individuals, businesses, and the economy as a whole.
The address highlighted the importance of Digital ID legislation and AI governance in shaping Australia’s technological future. These initiatives aim to enhance security, convenience, and inclusivity while safeguarding individuals’ privacy and ensuring responsible AI usage within the public service.
Efforts to advance digital identification in Australia align with the country’s broader initiatives to establish a national Digital ID system, as discussed by the Minster. The focus of one pilot program, reported on by OpenGov Asia earlier, was on enabling individuals to prove their identity without the need for multiple physical documents corresponds to the principles of Digital ID outlined by the Minister, emphasising secure digital verification over physical information exchange.
Additionally, student volunteers from Deakin University demonstrated practical applications of digital identity within the education sector, mirroring the efficiencies mentioned by Senator Gallagher in her speech. These developments reflect Australia’s growing interest and innovation in the digital identification ecosystem.
In the realm of genomics, the study of an individual’s genes and their interactions with the environment is a pivotal field. The sequencing and analysis of genomic data hold the promise of advancing disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. However, researchers often grapple with specific genomic questions, necessitating access to extensive and diverse datasets.
To address this challenge, a data-sharing system has been developed by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, known as sBeacon, which enables researchers worldwide to collaborate and exchange genomic information efficiently. This technological innovation is transforming the accessibility of genomic data, levelling the playing field for smaller and less economically advantaged countries and institutions.
At the heart of this transformation are beacon systems, a technology that securely transfers genomic data between global hospitals and research institutions. Each institution establishes its beacon, allowing researchers and clinicians to activate it for data requests or “queries.”
These queries are met with responses from a global network of participating institutions, each illuminating its beacon to share specific data facets. The system’s power grows with each additional beacon activated, with only 54 organisations adopting this technology as of March 2023.
However, envision a scenario where a faster, more cost-effective, and accessible system emerges. This vision is being turned into reality by a team of dedicated researchers aiming to remove barriers in genomic data sharing. Dr. Denis Bauer leads the team that leads the Transformational Bioinformatics group, driven by a passion for eliminating these barriers. Her vision is for every small hospital, health agency, and research facility to have the capability to activate their beacon.
Their collaborative effort with a national collaborative research partnership that is piloting a whole-of-system approach to integrating genomics into healthcare that is based on federation principles and Genomics England, a British company set up and owned by the United Kingdom Department of Health and Social Care to run the 100,000 Genomes Project, has yielded Serverless Beacon, or ‘sBeacon.’ Unlike other beacon systems, sBeacon is cloud-native, eliminating the need for a central database and ensuring data ownership remains with the institution, safeguarding patient information.
The technology introduces another groundbreaking feature—it charges institutions only when their beacon is queried, making it 1800 times faster and around 10 times more cost-effective than existing implementations. sBeacon significantly reduces entry barriers for smaller or economically disadvantaged organisations, facilitating their participation in the beacon network.
The goal is to make genomic data sharing more accessible and representative of diverse populations. Historically, less genomic data has been available from non-Caucasian groups, and sBeacon seeks to change this by welcoming more institutions into the beacon network.
Clinicians and researchers should have access to data that mirrors the population’s diversity, enabling more effective treatment of patients with complex diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular conditions. sBeacon offers real-time data analysis capabilities, potentially revolutionising the approach to these challenging medical conditions.
OpenGov Asia earlier reported that CSIRO is developing a DNA reference library which is set to transform how Australia monitors biodiversity along with the library’s first campaign which is supported by a founding partner.
The National Biodiversity DNA Library (NBDL) aims to create a complete collection of DNA reference sequences for all known Australian animal and plant species. Just like COVID-19 wastewater testing, it will enable DNA detected in the environment to be assigned to the species to which it belongs.
New South Wales (NSW) is partnering with key stakeholders, including universities and businesses, to develop an Innovation Blueprint aimed at revitalising the state’s innovation sector. The backdrop for this initiative is the stagnation in university-industry collaboration and the lack of progress in commercialising research outcomes, as highlighted by the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council. Simultaneously, R&D intensity in the region has been declining, emphasising the need for strategic interventions.
However, the government is mindful of fiscal constraints while working to restore the state’s finances and essential services. As a result, all expenditures must align with the best interests of NSW residents. The Innovation Blueprint is designed to be a collaborative effort, drawing insights from sector leaders and experts to position NSW as a global leader in attracting investments, fostering innovation, and attracting talent.
To facilitate this process, the Minister for Innovation, Science, and Technology will lead roundtable discussions on various topics, including venture capital, government support, startup growth, innovation adoption by industries, and talent attraction. These discussions will be instrumental in shaping the final blueprint.
The Innovation Blueprint cannot be overstated and has the potential to spark innovation across emerging sectors and crucial enabling technologies like quantum computing, artificial intelligence, data science, cybersecurity, sensors, and robotics. These innovations are expected to have a profound impact across diverse sectors, including energy, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and agrifood, all vital for NSW’s future economic growth.
The Minister leading this initiative underscored the government’s commitment to nurturing a robust innovation sector. In his view, a thriving innovation sector not only creates high-value jobs but also enhances productivity within high-growth industries. The government believes that by fostering innovation and cutting-edge industries, it can secure the jobs of the future and attract top-tier talent to NSW.
Thus, the NSW Labor Government is working to revitalise NSW’s innovation sector through collaborative efforts with universities, businesses, and sector experts. This initiative addresses longstanding challenges in university-industry collaboration and the need to reverse declining R&D intensity.
While fiscal responsibility is paramount, the government recognises that strategic investments in innovation are essential for NSW’s long-term prosperity. Through the Innovation Blueprint, NSW aims to position itself as a global leader, attracting investments, talent, and industries that will define the future.
OpenGov Asia recently reported that the Government of Western Australia is offering over AU$3 million in grants through the Local Capability Fund (LCF) to boost local small to medium-sized businesses. These grants aim to enhance their competitiveness and capacity, making them eligible for government and private sector contracts.
This initiative aligns with the Minns Labor Government’s Innovation Blueprint in New South Wales (NSW), which seeks to drive innovation and economic growth. While the LCF focuses on empowering local businesses to secure contracts, the Innovation Blueprint in NSW takes a broader approach, promoting innovation across various sectors.
Both initiatives share the goal of fostering economic development. The LCF in Western Australia offers targeted support, including assistance for Aboriginal-owned businesses, compliance with national and international standards, and upcoming digital transformation support. These align with the Innovation Blueprint’s focus on innovation in sectors like energy, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing.
Collaboration is key in both efforts. Western Australia partners with local businesses, while NSW collaborates with universities, businesses, and experts. These initiatives collectively contribute to enhancing Australia’s economic landscape by empowering local businesses and driving technological advancement.
The Government of Western Australia is taking steps to promote the growth of small to medium-sized local businesses by offering grants totalling over AU$3 million. These grants are intended to enhance their capabilities and competitiveness, enabling them to pursue contracts from both the government and private sector.
Known as the Local Capability Fund (LCF), this initiative serves as a crucial resource for recipients looking to expand their capacity and improve their competitiveness in supplying goods, services, and works to the government, major projects, and other significant markets.
For the upcoming fiscal year of 2023-2024, the government has announced four new LCF rounds, collectively amounting to AU$2.2 million in funding, with individual grants of up to AU$50,000. These four rounds are designed to cater to specific needs and priorities:
- Supplying Key Projects Round: This round aims to support businesses across the state in supplying essential goods and services to key government and private sector projects within priority sector markets.
- Aboriginal Business Round: This round is dedicated to businesses with a majority Aboriginal ownership. It seeks to assist these enterprises in supplying goods, services, and works to both the government and the private sector.
- National and International Standards Compliance Round: To ensure businesses adhere to the highest industry standards, this round provides financial assistance for engaging external experts to implement and obtain third-party certification for seven specific national and international standards.
- Digital Transformation Round (Upcoming): Soon, the LCF will introduce a Digital Transformation Round to provide initial support to eligible businesses in adopting and leveraging digital technologies and data. This round aims to advance the government’s understanding of digital needs in the business landscape.
Additionally, nine regional LCF rounds will be launched progressively throughout 2023-24, totalling AU$900,000 in funding with grants of up to AU$20,000. These rounds will specifically cater to businesses in regional areas, aiming to help them enhance their services and competitiveness.
Since its inception, the LCF has been instrumental in providing funding to over 600 businesses, totalling AU$22.7 million. This financial support has played a pivotal role in these businesses securing contract awards exceeding AU$1.05 billion. Beyond financial benefits, the LCF has contributed to creating more than 2,000 employment opportunities and nearly 250 apprenticeships.
The Minister Assisting the Minister for State and Industry Development, Jobs, and Trade stated that the Local Capability Fund has served as a catalyst for numerous businesses, infusing tens of millions in funding to propel their expansion. This program has not only facilitated access to over 2,000 employment opportunities but has also supported the development of 250 apprenticeships.
The Government, through its representative, wholeheartedly encourages businesses to grasp this opportunity by submitting grant applications. This initiative will empower them in their pursuits to secure contracts from both government and private sector organisations.
In today’s fast-paced business landscape, technology plays an indispensable role in enhancing efficiency, competitiveness, and growth prospects for businesses of all sizes. The Cook Government recognises this and aims to empower local businesses through the Local Capability Fund, providing them with the financial means to embrace and leverage technology. This support is especially timely as the world becomes increasingly digital and data-driven.
The new Digital Transformation Round, set to be launched in the coming weeks, underscores the government’s commitment to assisting businesses in harnessing the power of digital technologies and data. In an era where businesses must adapt to technological advancements to remain relevant and competitive, this initiative is poised to make a significant impact.
With the Digital Transformation Round, eligible businesses will have access to vital resources and support to embark on their digital journey. This includes financial assistance, expertise, and guidance on adopting and utilising digital technologies effectively. Whether it’s transitioning to cloud-based operations, implementing data analytics, or enhancing online presence, this initiative aims to equip businesses with the tools they need to thrive in a digital age.
Beyond financial support, the Digital Transformation Round also aligns with the government’s broader mission of understanding the specific technological needs of businesses. By collecting insights and feedback from participating enterprises, the government can shape future policies and initiatives to better serve the evolving tech landscape.
OpenGov Asia previously reported that the Vietnam-Australia Digital Forum 2023, organised by Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), in collaboration with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) and the NSW Trade and Investment Department, reflects the global importance of digital collaboration. This event, held during Minister Nguyen Manh Hung’s visit to Australia, signifies the commitment of both nations to enhance cooperation in information and communication technology.
It is part of the MIC’s broader 2023 initiatives to facilitate Vietnam’s digital business community expansion globally, with similar programs underway in countries like the United States, Japan, and Europe. These efforts underline the growing significance of international partnerships in fostering innovation, knowledge sharing, and economic growth through technology.
Two years after the inauguration of Murdoch University’s clear solar glass greenhouse, the facility has managed to offset nearly 40 percent of its energy consumption. The advanced structure, built in collaboration with an Australian renewable energy semiconductor manufacturing firm, utilised three distinct variants of transparent solar photovoltaic glazing panels to maximise solar energy utilisation.
The findings of a two-year research project, co-authored by Adjunct Associate Lecturer David Goodfield from Murdoch University, indicate that the greenhouse consistently generated energy while significantly reducing facility energy expenses and consumption.
This achievement was made possible by incorporating fluorescent particles into the clear glass solution, which were designed to disperse solar energy towards strategically positioned solar cells. This allowed the capture of solar energy even when the sun was not directly shining on the glass.
The insights gained from this study are poised to contribute to the advancement of solar energy utilization, aligning with Murdoch University’s strategic goal of establishing itself as a renowned centre for sustainability excellence. Dr. Martin Brueckner, the Pro Vice Chancellor of Sustainability at Murdoch University, emphasised that the greenhouse played a crucial role in the university’s mission to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. He also pointed out that the greenhouse showcased the potential of innovative materials to enhance the environmental performance of buildings and structures.
Dr. Brueckner underscored the importance of technology, alongside behavioural changes, in the pursuit of future sustainability, acknowledging that it is a pivotal aspect of their sustainability journey. He expressed excitement, particularly in the realm of materials, about the future possibilities and applications in this field.
In 2021, OpenGov Asia reported on this development at Murdoch University. The initiative focused on the installation of transparent solar photovoltaic integrated glass units (IGUs) at the grains research precinct on the university’s campus.
At the time of reporting, OpenGov Asia noted that the greenhouse at Murdoch University used cutting-edge transparent solar glass technology, developed by the company, with the dual purpose of maintaining glass transparency and generating electricity.
This technology was designed to deliver a minimum of 30 watts per square meter while retaining 70% transparency. Each IGU featured solar PV cells positioned around its edges and incorporated advanced components, including a nanoparticle interlayer and a spectral-selective coating on the rear external surface. These components allowed most visible light to pass through while redirecting infrared and UV light to the edges of the IGU, where it could be harnessed by the solar cells.
The CEO of the solar glass developer had expressed optimism about the project’s potential to raise awareness of their building-integrated PV (BIPV) technology. They noted strong global interest from greenhouse suppliers, growers, and other users involved in protected cropping. The completion of the greenhouse’s construction, adjacent to existing research greenhouses, marked a significant milestone for the company.
The greenhouse project had several noteworthy features. First, it was the first commercial-scale demonstration of the company’s PV IGU technology in a protected-cropping agriculture setting. Second, it promised improved temperature control compared to traditional greenhouses, with a narrower temperature range of +/-2° from the optimum, potentially leading to increased plant growth rates of up to 20-30%.
Furthermore, this project had broader implications beyond agriculture. The CEO indicated that it could pave the way for the commercial application of the technology in high-rise commercial buildings, demonstrating the versatility and potential impact of BIPV technology.
Murdoch University’s collaboration with the solar glass developer showcased the integration of advanced solar glass technology into the agricultural research setting, with the greenhouse project poised to contribute to greater market awareness of BIPV technology. This endeavour aligns with Murdoch University’s commitment to sustainability and innovation, as highlighted in the previous information about the university’s clear solar glass greenhouse and sustainability goals.
The University of Adelaide, in collaboration with several esteemed institutions globally, is poised to play a pivotal role in the establishment of the ground-breaking Global Hydrogen Production Technologies (HyPT) Centre. This venture is dedicated to the refinement and scaling-up of hydrogen production techniques, recognised as a cornerstone in the pursuit of net-zero emissions objectives.
Within its scope, the HyPT Centre delves into three innovative technologies: renewable energy-integrated water electrolysis, methane pyrolysis with the production of valuable solid carbon co-products, and solar-driven water splitting.
Australia’s participation in this international initiative is orchestrated through the joint efforts of the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, and Curtin University. Together with research partners from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Egypt, and Germany, they aim to pave the way for large-scale net-zero hydrogen production methodologies.
Heading this mission is Professor Anton Middelberg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Adelaide. Expressing his enthusiasm for the collaboration, he affirmed that the University of Adelaide expresses its enthusiasm for collaborating with CSIRO and other partners in driving forward the commercialisation of transformative hydrogen production technology. Their world-class researchers are dedicated to working together to discover solutions that can contribute to the development of a more sustainable future for society.
University of Adelaide distinguished faculty member in the School of Physics, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences at the University of Adelaide, has been entrusted with leading Australia’s research contributions to the HyPT Centre. He emphasised the vital role of large-scale hydrogen production with net-zero carbon dioxide emissions, underlining its significance in achieving the climate targets outlined in the Paris Agreement and mitigating global warming.
Professor Metha will spearhead the research on photocatalysis within the new centre, focusing on innovative methods that can drive the production of net-zero hydrogen. He notes that while net-zero hydrogen holds immense potential for decarbonizing numerous energy-intensive industries, its current cost is considerably higher than hydrogen derived from fossil fuels, a hurdle that necessitates overcoming.
The HyPT Centre aims to create an international consortium consisting of 34 experts from 19 institutions across six countries. Together, they will work towards devising a cost-effective blueprint for large-scale net-zero hydrogen production, leveraging an array of complementary technologies.
In addition to Professor Gus Nathan, Director of the Centre for Energy Technology at the University of Adelaide, other Australian experts will participate in refining methane pyrolysis technology, a key focus area of the HyPT Centre. Professor Nathan highlights the significance of methane pyrolysis in that it yields hydrogen without any carbon emissions, setting it apart from conventional hydrogen production methods. Collaborating with other leading experts, their shared objective is to pioneer cost-effective and large-scale net-zero hydrogen production.
Arizona State University (ASU) spearheads the HyPT initiative, with funding support from prominent organizations including the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The establishment of the Global Hydrogen Production Technologies (HyPT) Centre represents a significant leap forward in the pursuit of sustainable and environmentally responsible hydrogen production. This international collaborative effort, involving esteemed institutions from diverse corners of the globe, underscores the urgency and importance of transitioning to net-zero emissions technologies. As nations strive to meet their climate targets, the research conducted within the HyPT Centre holds the promise of unlocking innovative solutions for clean, cost-effective, and scalable hydrogen production.
The University of Adelaide, along with its Australian counterparts, is well-poised to make substantial contributions to this critical endeavour. With a commitment to advancing technology and research excellence, these institutions are dedicated to shaping a more sustainable future for society. Through their combined expertise and international collaboration, the HyPT Centre endeavours to accelerate the transition to net-zero hydrogen production, providing a vital tool in the global efforts to combat climate change.
Similarly, the Australian government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), pledged AU$20.9 million to support a Wollongong-based startup in scaling their hydrogen electrolyser technology for commercial use, OpenGov Asia previously reported. This initiative aligns with Australia’s commitment to hydrogen innovation. The parallel efforts of the University of Adelaide and ARENA underscore Australia’s dedication to fostering a sustainable energy future through hydrogen technology.