Researchers bring Victoria a taste of the future

11 December

Professor Mancarella, Dr DiGiacomo and Dr Griffin

Generations of Victorians will benefit from clean energy systems, food upcycling and big data for agriculture thanks to new research, which will now be conducted in Victoria with funding provided by veski and the Victorian Government.

Three fellowships were presented by the Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business & Innovation, Frank McGuire MP on Monday night, including a prestigious veski innovation fellowship awarded to Professor Pierluigi Mancarella, a world-leading researcher from Italy, to support Victoria’s transition to a more sustainable and secure power system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two veski sustainable agriculture fellowships include funding for Dr Terry Griffin, a leading agricultural researcher from Kansas State University, to help Victoria develop its use of big data in agriculture. The second fellowship has the potential to divert millions of tonnes of food waste away from landfills through innovative research at the University of Melbourne by Dr Kristy DiGiacomo.

The fellowships are part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to bringing world-class researchers to Victoria to help solve key issues facing the state and are part of a range of programs which have been delivered by veski since 2004.

“We are attracting the world's best and brightest minds to Victoria because they help our economy – they will help drive innovation, creating the jobs and industries of the future” said Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Innovation, Frank McGuire.

Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel AO, who recently engaged Professor Mancarella to contribute to his Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market played a key role in the event, welcoming Mancarella to Australia and joining him in a conversation about Australia’s future energy needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Finkel said: “Big problems demand big solutions from big minds. veski brings leading researchers to my home state of Victoria, with benefits for the whole of the nation.” 

The projects offer a range of short-term and long-term benefits:

  • Professor Pierluigi Mancarella is focused on the development of lower cost clean energy options at the University of Melbourne and will lead a revolutionary approach to plan and operate our communities, towns and cities as flexible, low carbon Urban Virtual Power Plants. His project could deliver a “FlexCity” powered by clean energy with smart grid technologies, where buildings, districts, and local players actively participate in system operation and help create new, sustainable energy-related businesses.
  • Dr Terry Griffin will visit the state in early 2018 as part of an 18-month project to improve data collection and curation by Victorian grain farmers in partnership with Birchip Cropping Group. This data, which is easily accessible, has the potential to transform the Australian agricultural sector, by reducing labour and input costs, increasing yields and profitability as well as enabling greater traceability throughout the food supply chain.
  • Dr Kristy DiGiacomo will work with Hermetia Biosystems to explore the use of human food waste in the production of black soldier fly larvae which could be used to feed livestock and reduce the cost of animal feed. As well as working on improving sustainability from paddock to plate, the project can also potentially reduce the CO2 contributions from food waste. 

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