Greener manufacturing in the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries has received a boost following the establishment of the $24.9 million Victorian Centre for Sustainable Chemical Manufacturing (VCSCM).
Just launched by the Victorian minister for manufacturing, exports and trade, Richard Dalla-Riva, VCSCM is led by Monash University in partnership with CSIRO, the Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association and the Environmental Protection Authority.
VCSCM supports closer ties between manufacturers and researchers through access to practical scientific outcomes and innovative solutions to key issues faced by three major industry sectors, to ‘hands-on’ outreach and skills training activities, and to a green chemistry web portal.
The aim is to assist industry in evaluating and deploying more sustainable manufacturing processes and so capture the benefits of green chemistry for the production of existing and new products.
Monash University’s Professor Milton Hearn, director of VCSCM, said the Centre represented an important step in the creation of more effective partnerships between industry and research institutions.
‘This new Centre provides a major opportunity to support Victorian and Australian manufacturing industries and other companies to become globally more competitive with skilled workforces,’ Professor Hearn said.
‘The Centre leverages the University’s already strong capabilities and international partnerships in green and sustainable chemistry.’
VCSCM contributes to two key priority areas of the Victorian government’s strategic initiatives related to sustainability – through development and deployment of green and more efficient technologies; and to increased productivity – through innovation and skills training.
Professor Hearn said VCSCM built on the work done by the Centre for Green Chemistry over the past decade at Monash.
‘It provides an industry-facing focus for innovative developments, of high impact and relevance, that encompass a broad range of skills embedded within the Clayton Science Precinct and elsewhere in Victoria,’ Professor Hearn said.
The Victorian government contributed $5.85 million to establish VCSCM, with the remainder of the funding provided by partner institutions and organisations.