News & Events

Trailblazing universities shortlisted to boost economic recovery

28 January 2022

The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business
Acting Minister for Education and Youth

Ground-breaking research commercialisation proposals across the six national manufacturing priority areas, including food and beverage, recycling and clean energy, defence, medical products, space and resources and critical technology, are among those to be shortlisted to play a leading role in securing Australia’s economic recovery.

Acting Minister for Education and Youth, Stuart Robert, today announced the eight projects shortlisted to compete for a share in $242.7 million in funding under the Morrison Government’s new Trailblazer Universities program.

‘The program will see the best minds in research and industry work together to develop Australian technologies, products and businesses to create jobs and boost the economy,’ Minister Robert said.

‘The high quality of the 21 proposals we received demonstrates the strong appetite for universities and business to work more closely together on projects of national importance.

‘The four proposals that ultimately succeed in receiving funding will lead Australia’s efforts in research commercialisation and support our critical national manufacturing priorities.’

‘They will also help demonstrate what it takes to build successful and enduring partnerships between university and private sector researchers that prioritise a focus on the national interest.’

The shortlisted applicants are:

  • University of Queensland, Food and beverage – Accelerating growth in Australia’s Food and Beverage manufacturing
  • Charles Sturt University, Food and beverage – Reshaping Australian Manufacturing: Food and Beverage Commercialisation Hub
  • Deakin University, Recycling and clean energy – Recycling and Renewable Energy Commercialisation Hub (REACH)
  • University of New South Wales, Recycling and clean energy – Australian Trailblazer for Recycling and Clean Energy (ATRaCE)
  • University of Adelaide, Defence – Defence Trailblazer for Concept to Sovereign Capability (CSC)
  • University of Melbourne, Medical products – Medical Products Trailblazer
  • University of Southern Queensland, Space – Innovative Launch, Automation, Novel Materials, Communications and Hypersonics Hub (The iLAuNCH Hub)
  • Curtin University, Resources Technology and critical minerals – Resources Technology Trailblazer

The proposals were selected by a panel of university, industry, science, and research leaders including:

  • Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) Deputy Secretary Tony Cook PSM (Chair)
  • Former University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Paul Wellings CBE
  • Industry Innovation and Science Australia Chair Andrew Stevens
  • CSIRO Chief Operating Officer Judi Zielke
  • Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources First Assistant Secretary Janean Richards
  • DESE First Assistant Secretary Dom English

The total value of the proposals submitted for the Trailblazer Universities Program was $2.9 billion in funding and in-kind commitments from both the universities and their industry partners to drive research to commercialisation success.

The shortlisted universities will be invited to provide a detailed business case to further support their proposal. Outcomes of the selection process will be announced in late March.

The Trailblazer Universities Program is the first step of the Morrison Government’s university research commercialisation reform agenda.

Further information on the Trailblazer Universities Program is available at: Trailblazer Universities Program – Department of Education, Skills and Employment, Australian Government (

This media release was originally posted by the Ministers’ Media Centre: