On 27 June 2019, the VCC launched to an enthusiastic 150+ audience made up of representatives from universities, small and large businesses from across the cleantech and environment sectors and Victorian state and local government representatives.
Wurundjeri Elder, Aunty Georgina Nicholson opened the event with a Welcome to Country, reflecting on the history of her ancestors and recognising the need for more sustainable approaches to protecting the environment.
The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, and Minister for Solar Homes followed, praising the creation of a Victorian collaborative cleantech organisation in a new era in clean technology.
Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Arron Wood concluded the formalities by reflecting on his role in helping the City of Melbourne run on 100 per cent renewable energy, sharing his excitement for the VCC and the need for a more coordinated sector.
With over 20 founding members – and a pool of companies who have pledged to become foundation members – the VCC expects to have 50 members and rising.
LVI is a sponsor of the VCC and proud to see the sector united around a global focus.
The VCC was established around a vision that Victoria might one day be the southern hemisphere capital for innovation, uptake and commercialisation of clean technology.
“The big challenges for government with the cleantech sector are also the big opportunities,” says John Bradley, Secretary DELWP, citing the circular economy, emerging energy markets and avoiding $5.4 billion in waste products discarded through production as key opportunities for the sector.
Our role is to make sure the settings are right and then to assist – through things like the Victorian Cleantech Cluster – to bring parties together and put our best foot forward in international markets.
According to Nigel Murphy, VCC founder, and Director and Principal Environmental Scientist, Earth Systems, the cluster came about through a sincere collaboration between private sector and the Victorian Government.
“VCC grew out of a conversation around how to bring everyone together and strengthen cleantech initiatives in Victoria,” says Nigel. “It was something that needed to be driven by the private sector, but supported by and aligned with government outcomes.”
As a state association, Nigel believes this will give the sector a better opportunity to network and connect – than if the cluster had been a national one.
At a state level, people can meet one another and develop real networks to benefit organisations and people within them. What we needed was a not-for-profit, owned by the entities that make up the cleantech sector in Victoria.
“We’re bringing together all the private companies, research organisations and government areas that could benefit from having a coordinated approach.”
Having worked in the sector for 30 years, Nigel was perfectly positioned to lead the development of the VCC. “Over the years there have been various groups interested in bringing together a cleantech sector but really it’s been LVI that has put the effort in to make this happen,” he says.
“Liveability Victoria International has a different perspective,” says Nigel.
“They see that it’s hard to bring together all the different threads of a sector and they understand that great things are happening in the space but we haven’t been able to communicate them because we haven’t had a cleantech brand.”
“A company may think they don’t need anyone’s help, but operating in isolation doesn’t build the sector,” explains Nigel. “We want to make sure the companies doing great things are able to expand and attract the investment they need, to be sustainable and commercial globally.”
Nigel sees the VCC as helping to transform the way we think about everything we do. “Given the state of the environment, we need to make sure everything we do now has a sustainability angle. If we manage that, we’ll create world class technology we can take to the world.”
Victoria’s cleantech sector already contributes $7.7 billion per annum to the Victorian economy2 . As the VCC helps more businesses tap into the growing international demand for cleantech and services that improve water, air and soil quality, that’s likely to rise 2 Alpha Beta Consulting, Liveability Sector economic potential, May 2019.
Lingxue Kong, Professor (Research) at Deakin University’s Institute of Frontier Material (IFM) is a VCC founding member. As part of an educational institute, Lingxue looks forward to supporting more Victorian businesses through the new cluster.
We want to provide strong technical and educational support. We already work closely with industry partners, but the Victorian Cleantech Cluster will provide a new platform for us, to work together with more companies.
“We’re keen to work closely with more companies, because particularly in this space, developing new technologies is extremely important,” he says. Of future trade missions and international business opportunities, the VCC intends to market the cleantech sector collectively, bringing together different skills and different businesses to solve new problems through a collaborative multidisciplinary approach.
The end goal is to become a hub for Victorian cleantech businesses and help more companies move from ideation to commercialisation and commercial global success, while creating jobs and bringing in new economic growth to Victoria – sustainably, of course.
Stay tuned for the VCC event calendar with networking opportunities, a speaker series and member workshops focused on themes such as investment attraction, marketing your business, risk management, export readiness and international market entry.
The Victorian Cleantech Sector encompasses the following sub-sectors:
- New Energy Generation, Storage and Infrastructure
- Air & Environment
- Recycling, Waste and Resource Recovery
- The Built Environment
- Water and Wastewater
- Agriculture and Land.
Supporting the Victorian Cleantech Cluster will contribute to strengthening each of these sectors, locally and internationally.
Page last updated: 04/05/20