Today's announcement that Newcastle will host the national Enterprise Connect Clean Energy Innovation Centre (CEIC) will be a major boost for the commercialisation of clean energy technology for small-to-medium enterprises.
The Australian Government has committed $20 million to the CEIC, which will be hosted by Newcastle Innovation - the commercial arm of the University of Newcastle.
Newcastle Innovation CEO Dr Brent Jenkins said the Centre would provide small and medium sized Australian companies the support needed to grow their commercial activities.
"The CEIC will offer a range of business improvement services to help clean energy companies find and adapt the latest research and technology to improve products and manufacturing processes," Dr Jenkins said.
"It will provide access to specialist facilities and advice at the University of Newcastle to turn innovative ideas into new products, test products for new markets, help firms become export-ready and provide grants to address areas of weakness.
"The announcement confirms Newcastle as the national leader in clean energy research and technology and will support a significant number of established and new businesses in the region and nationally."
The Enterprise Connect CEIC will be located in the Industry Development Centre at the University of Newcastle's Callaghan campus. It will be home to a Director and up to six staff.
Newcastle Innovation will also appoint three specialist staff to provide complementary services.
University of Newcastle Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Pat Michie said the CEIC would gain enormous benefit from the University's expertise and strategic partnerships with other research-intensive institutions.
"The University of Newcastle has a strong record of innovative research in clean energy technology including wind, solar, geothermal and low emissions coal," Professor Michie said.
"Newcastle Innovation, in partnership with the University, has a proven track record of converting research into commercial products with real world applications.
"Today's announcement is a welcome addition to the many activities already underway at the University to develop market-ready clean energy technology."
The CEIC is a partnership between Newcastle Innovation, Enterprise Connect, the Australian Institute for Commercialisation and the Western Australia Sustainable Energy Association.