$3 million Queensland-German collaboration to harness net zero opportunities

Published Friday, 07 July, 2023 at 04:15 PM

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Leanne Linard

  • The Palaszczuk Government is launching a new $3 million collaborative research program between the Queensland and German governments.
  • This will harness opportunities associated with transitioning to a net zero emissions economy.
  • The program is Queensland’s first joint initiative with Germany on bioeconomy research and development.

A new $3 million collaborative research program between the Queensland and German governments is set to harness opportunities associated with transitioning to a net zero emissions economy.

The program is Queensland’s first joint initiative with Germany on bioeconomy research and development.

It is a key action under a Joint Declaration of Intent for Cooperation in Bioeconomy, which was signed with the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in May 2022.

Under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2022-2032, the Palaszczuk Government will provide $3 million over three years to support the new program.

This contribution will be matched by the German Government through its support of relevant German research partners.

Partnering with Germany, a world leader in bioeconomy-related research and technology, will help Queensland develop new technology solutions to further the state’s global reputation and attract investment.

This first round of the program will target three areas of the bioeconomy – developing new materials from sustainability sourced biomass, enhancing levels of sustainable agriculture, and reducing and reusing food waste.

The new program gives Queensland a pathway to work with and learn from Germany and gives Queensland researchers greater access to experienced German innovators and investors.

Queensland’s world-leading universities and research institutes are working on projects that address current and significant scientific challenges relevant to the development of a bioeconomy.

For example, QUT’s research is enabling farmers to grow more food with less resources, developing crops that are more nutritious and resistant to drought and pests, and discovering innovative ways to make renewable fuels, chemicals, and other products from agricultural wastes.

A focus of research at The University of Queensland is the establishment of new technologies for the production of next generation biofuels from sustainably sourced feedstocks, such as food and industrial wastes, advanced materials from crop residues and native trees, and biohydrogen using algal systems.

Germany is already a significant partner with Queensland in science and business.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Environment and Science Leanne Linard:

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to developing a prosperous and resilient economy that manages the risks of climate change and makes the most of the many opportunities that go with transitioning to a net zero emissions economy.

“The Queensland Climate Action Plan 2030 provides a roadmap to address climate change and to help reach Queensland’s targets of at least 50% renewable energy by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.

“The government’s Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy aims to increase resource recovery and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by attracting investment and developing new jobs and industries.

“These strategic initiatives provide the opportunity for a thriving Queensland bioeconomy over the next ten years.

“Bioeconomy is an emerging model for government and business, with a greater focus on sustainably using renewable biological resources to produce food, energy, and industrial goods.

“This new program represents an exciting new step in Queensland’s relationship with Germany, where we are working together to provide solutions to some of world’s global challenges.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Biofutures Industry Envoy and member of the International Advisory Council on Global Bioeconomy, Professor Ian O’Hara from QUT:

“As we work toward a zero emissions economy, we need to replace products that are currently produced from fossil-based resources with renewable and sustainably sourced bio-based products.

"The bioeconomy provides a framework in which we can grow new, sustainable, regional manufacturing industries while also ensuring we protect our natural environments and ecosystems.

"With a strong and technologically advanced agriculture sector, and a large amount of biomass available, Queensland is ideally placed to be a leader in this important global sector.

“The bioeconomy is rapidly developing as a result of advancements in knowledge, science and innovation. By strengthening our collaborations with leading researchers in Germany, we can ensure Queensland remains at the forefront of global innovation in this rapidly advancing field.”

Quotes attributable to The University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry:

"This closely aligns with the University’s global partnerships focused on replacing fossil-based feedstocks with sustainable sources.”

“Through our research, we’re turning food, non-food and industrial waste into resources such as bio energy, green chemicals for industry, livestock feed, and health and medical applications.”

Further information:

The Joint Declaration of Intent for Cooperation in Bioeconomy is available here: https://science.des.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0029/270965/joint-declaration-intent-bioeconomy-2022.pdf


Media contact: Scott Chandler – (07) 3719 7339