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NEWS


SPOTLIGHT ON BCIA
What’s News at BCIA?

SKILLS, NETWORKS AND STAKEHOLDER RELATIONS



With increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the world’s atmosphere, there is a pressing need to ensure that low-emissions brown coal R&D outcomes translate into on-the-ground projects.

There are many challenges to be addressed and, given the timescale for required actions, it will be the current generation of researchers that will deliver the necessary technology developments.

Recognising the imperative for a significant ramp-up in low-emissions, low-rank coal utilisation research and development, BCIA hosted our first-ever knowledge and skills workshop for early-career researchers in mid-March.

The one-day workshop had a strong emphasis on building the skills of early-career researchers, and provided participants with techniques for building a compelling research value proposition, developing an action plan and communicating research proposals and outcomes to a non-technical audience.

Interest in the workshop strongly exceeded expectations with 40 PhD and post-doctoral students registering to take part – more than double the expected attendance. Immediately following the workshop, BCIA held an industry networking event, which was also very well attended. The highlight of the evening was the “elevator pitch” presentations by the workshop participants, which led to some lively discussion in the networking session!

The strong interest in low-emissions coal and energy utilisation shown by the workshop participants bodes well for the future of Australian research leadership in these critical fields. Feedback from workshop participants was overwhelmingly positive and will be used to inform the development of future BCIA workshops and seminars.

A full update on the workshop is given on
page 7.

Above: Participants work on their 'elevator pitches' at the "Taking Technologies out of the Laboratory: Challenges and Opportunties" BCIA workshop held in March.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT



Having supported over 20 projects to date, BCIA’s portfolio currently includes 12 active research projects covering the areas of:

  • i) increased efficiency of power generation from brown coal
  • ii) reduced greenhouse gas emissions and
  • iii) new products from brown coal.

All projects are doing well and are on track to be completed in the next year or so.

This strong portfolio of R&D will support the environmentally sustainable, long-term utilisation of brown coal in Australia. BCIA is seeking to build upon this success, and to assist with future planning, we are now interested in identifying new R&D projects that can extend and complement the existing portfolio.

For example, suitable projects might assist existing projects to take the next step toward commercialisation, or they may support pre-commercial demonstration activities by addressing short-term research questions.

Some may offer new solutions to key technical challenges. Others may offer the potential for radical change at some time in the future, or outline R&D leading to significant cost or efficiency savings for deployment of low-emission brown coal technology.

BCIA is particularly interested in extending the reach of projects to include significant international linkages where these can accelerate project activities and/or complement local research capabilities.

BCIA’s Research Investment Manager, Dr David McManus, has begun an informal process of engaging with researchers to develop a suite of new project ideas and assist in building links between research teams and relevant industry stakeholders.

Some very interesting potential projects have already been identified through informal contacts, but it is important that everyone is given the opportunity to develop their concepts.

Accordingly, brown coal researchers are invited to contact Dr McManus and suggest new research areas that might be suitable for the BCIA portfolio.


Dr McManus can be contacted by
Phone: +61 (0)413 136 112
Email: david.mcmanus@bcinnovation.com.au


For more BCIA news, go to the next page of this e-newsletter.




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