The Mallee Regional Innovation Centre (MRIC) will lead a strategy to put Australia on the global map for hydrogen technology and expertise.
The National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) announced a $1.7m national funding scheme to develop an Australian network of hydrogen clusters, one of which will be led by MRIC.
The announcement cements the Mallee’s position as a viable and strategic location to foster hydrogen capabilities.
The Mallee Cluster will cover the North West of Victoria and be one of 13 clusters across the country.
The Mallee Regional Innovation Centre opened in 2020 and was advocated for by the Mallee Regional Partnership as one of its top priorities.
The Victorian Government supported the Centre through a $1.7 million investment.
Both the Loddon Mallee RDA and the Mallee Regional Partnership contributed to funding for a Mallee Hydrogen Roadmap that underpinned the NERA proposal.
The announcement is a crucial step in building the skills, capacities and commercialisation opportunities necessary to unlock Australia’s potential for a globally competitive hydrogen industry that could add $11 billion and thousands of jobs to the national economy by 2050.
MRIC CEO, Rebecca Wells, said the NERA funding represented a new opportunity for the region.
“We are well positioned to establish a cohesive, valuable cluster and drive hydrogen supply chain development for regional Victoria,” Wells said.
“We’re excited to see new research and technology development in the hydrogen space and look forward to collaborating with fellow cluster leads around Australia.”
The Mallee Regional Innovation Centre is a joint venture from the University of Melbourne, La Trobe University and SuniTAFE.
The Centre strives to fast-track research projects to strategically address key challenges in the Mallee, complementing established activities and seeking opportunities to foster new areas of development and bring new capabilities to the region.