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CQU helps to showcase Queensland’s renewables potential to Japanese leaders

Published:06 September 2022

CQU Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Klomp, and Tokyo University's Professor Masakazu Sugiyama.

CQUniversity Australia has played host to a Japanese trade convoy aimed at showcasing Central Queensland’ s potential to become a leader in the production of hydrogen and renewable energies.

As part of the activity CQU showcased its facilities, training and skills delivery and research capabilities at its Gladstone Marina campus.

Along with this, the University also hosted a group of Japanese master’s students as part of the Cooperative Program for Resources Engineering program which is a post-graduate education jointly established through a collaboration between Hokkaido University and Kyushu University.

The students will spend several weeks in Queensland at a number of universities. During their time at CQU they will focus on gaining a thorough understanding of local industry, including spending time at local mines and at the Port of Gladstone.

As part of the trade convoy CQUniversity formalised an adjunct professorial appointment with Professor Masakazu Sugiyama of Tokyo University, who is globally renowned as a hydrogen expert and for his energy transition research and advocacy.

It is hoped that the appointment of Professor Sugiyama as a CQU adjunct will help to foster stronger relationships, knowledge sharing and research development, collaborations and exchanges.

Professor Sugiyama has expressed that Gladstone has a number of natural advantages in green Hydrogen production, and that the region has the potential to lead the way in the energy transition, production and export.

Associate Vice-President of the CQUniversity Gladstone campus, Mr Luke Sinclair welcomed Professor Sugiyama’s adjunct appointment and explained that the appointment and associated trade convoy represented an exciting opportunity to showcase CQU’s Gladstone campus facilities and the University’s wider capabilities and strategy when it comes to hydrogen and renewable energy.

“The CQUniversity Gladstone campus already has significant infrastructure to support trade training within this space, including the Trades Training Centre and the new School of Manufacturing that is in the final stages of construction and fit-out.

“We are also establishing several key industry partnerships to support the creation of a clean energy ecosystem in the region.

“Hydrogen has the potential to be a game changer for Australia, as well as for Central Queensland, with the industry having the potential to generate billions of dollars annually while also creating thousands of jobs,” Mr Sinclair said.

“Japan is a clear leader when it comes to research and development in energy transition, so we are excited to establish strong relationships with Japanese industry leaders and innovators.”

CQUniversity’s Chair of Hydrogen and Renewable Energy, Professor Murray Shearer said hosting international delegations such as this was a positive step forward in establishing a local hydrogen and renewables industry.

“Central Queensland is a region that has many elements that make it very attractive when it comes to creating a clean energy ecosystem, including the Port of Gladstone, the proximity of large industry, and weather conditions that are suitable for generating clean energy such as wind and solar.

“CQUniversity has a strong strategy when it comes to renewable training and research that positions us as an objective third-party who can do the work for industry when it comes to identifying, testing and applying innovation and then working collaboratively with them to develop and share knowledge when it comes to making, using and selling clean energy,” Professor Shearer said.

“CQUniversity also has plans to establish a Hydrogen Training Centre which will complement existing infrastructure on the Gladstone Marina campus and allow us to increase our research and training outputs including foundation skills, electrolyser operation, instrumentation and process control and advanced manufacturing.

“I welcome ongoing interest from international stakeholders who want to learn more about the region and how CQUniversity can play a part in a clean energy industry in Central Queensland.”

Tak Adachi, Japanese Trade and Investment Commissioner at Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) was impressed by CQUniversity’s vision for supporting the development of a clean energy industry in Gladstone and said that he is supportive of building stronger collaborative links when it comes to research and collaboration.

“Japan is committed to energy transition and exploring international collaborations that will support this.

“We are impressed by CQUniversity’s work in this space and it’s capacity when it comes to research, industry partnership and skills training to support the emergence of new technologies,” Mr Adachi said.

“It’s been a pleasure to connect CQUniversity with these opportunities and TIQ looks forward to working with the University in developing further partnerships in the future.”