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The Victorian Government has announced a plan to build a $34.9 million world-first battery facility and regional hydrogen hub at Deakin University.

The Battery Technology Research and Innovation Hub 2.0 (BatTRI-Hub 2.0) will be based at Deakin’s Burwood campus. It features a testing lab and pilot production line to research and manufacture advanced batteries using lithium and sodium.

The products will be developed to meet bespoke requirements in defence, agriculture, disaster zones and health settings. It will enhance the work of BatTRI-Hub 1.0 which has already created valuable products for industry, including Toyota in Japan.

Victorian Government funding will also help establish the nation’s first regional hydrogen hub in Warrnambool, called Hycel Technology Hub. It will develop and manufacture hydrogen fuel technology, with a focus on transport and heavy vehicles, storage and industry applications.

Victorian Minister for Higher Education, Gayle Tierney, said, “These projects will create world-class training and research facilities right here in Victoria – with huge benefits not just on skills and training but also industry and our economy.”

As part of the project, Deakin aims to transition its Warrnambool campus from gas to hydrogen and will convert the Warrnambool Bus Lines fleet to clean energy.

The facilities will accommodate 290 jobs in research, manufacturing and the energy sector and foster learning and research opportunities for school groups, university students, community and industry.

Deakin University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Iain Martin, “Deakin has an impact both locally and globally – and this research will deliver lasting value to communities and industry and extend our investment in regional Victoria and commitment to sustainability.”

Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and will create about 78 local jobs.

The Victorian Government has invested $14.2 million in this project – one of many proposals from universities to the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund, which was developed in response to the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector.

The $350 million fund is supporting universities with capital works, research infrastructure projects and applied research focused on boosting Victoria’s productivity and economy as the state recovers from the pandemic.

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