Momentum continues to build behind Warrnambool’s Hycel Hydrogen Hub, with Deakin University recently appointing three project specialists to establish the energy and transport program.
The three federally funded appointees commence in June and are the first of up to eight jobs expected to be created over the next few years during the hub’s establishment phase, if as planned, the hub expands to a fully operational hydrogen research, testing and manufacturing facility.
The positive news for residents of South West Victoria follows the December 2019 announcement by Federal Minster for Education, The Hon. Dan Tehan MP, that the Hycel Technology Hub – a Hydrogen Transition Centre – will be based at a new hydrogen precinct on Deakin’s Warrnambool campus.
The new Hycel Hydrogen Hub is backed with $2m in Commonwealth Government funding to establish Australia’s first facility for developing hydrogen utilisation technologies at scale.
Deakin Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Alfred Deakin Professor Julie Owens said the Hycel program is a unique and pivotal opportunity to drive Warrnambool and the South West’s role in a promising growth industry for Australia.
“Warrnambool will be at the Australian forefront of a new global industry,” Owens said.
“Through Hycel, the emerging hydrogen industry is a major opportunity for south west Victoria, enabling the region to benefit from the global transition to low-carbon economies and to test and deliver technological solutions to worldwide problems. It can bring new jobs and new economic and social opportunities.
“Ambitious and forward-thinking professionals such as our three newly appointed specialists will know that being involved in this industry from the start is more than just a job, it’s a career-making opportunity to progress Australia’s role in the multibillion-dollar hydrogen economy,” Owens said.
Through Hycel, industry training, research partnerships and fuel cell technology will be applied to heavy vehicles including trucks, and hydrogen tested for its potential to safely replace natural gas for future zero-emission homes.
The appointment of an experienced Program Manager will help to attract investment in the project (and, in turn, to local economies) and will enable the building of cross-industry collaborations with Australia’s leading research, innovation and technology institutions. Supported by a Project Officer and Communications & Engagement Coordinator, the Program Manager and team will work with Deakin to support the interests and needs of stakeholders and to navigating regulatory pathways to success.
“There is enormous potential in this project, to fulfil Warrnambool’s ambitions to be a leader in carbon neutrality, and to pioneer Australia’s clean energy and transport future,” Owens said.
“Working on this program, means your legacy will be felt across the country, and potentially the world, as well as right here in Warrnambool. Locally in the longer term, the program will boost education, training and employment opportunities for people in the south-west.”
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