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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Boral and UTS launch industry-first research partnership

UTS Tech Lab

Partnership aims to accelerate product innovation, R&D and commercialization of low-carbon concrete

BORAL and the University of Technology Sydney have formed a five-year partnership to accelerate product innovation, and the research, development and commercialization of low-carbon concrete.

The partnership has resulted in the establishment of the UTS Boral Centre for Sustainable Building at UTS Tech Lab, bringing academia and industry together to research and innovate sustainable building technologies. 

The unique venture provides Boral with access to specialist equipment as well as UTS academic and technical staff, and co-locates some of the company’s best researchers and scientists at UTS Tech Lab, a multidisciplinary research facility that is the first of its kind in Australia.

The partnership aims to rapidly advance the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy, with practical pathways delivering incremental and transformational steps to low-carbon building and construction.

It will also enhance the work of Boral’s in-house innovation teams in Australia and the US, which deliver practical solutions through industry partnerships and the development of sustainable building materials.

‘We’re passionate about product innovation and sustainability because it represents our future,’ said Dr Ross Harper, Boral Group president of HSE, sustainability, innovation and operations excellence.

‘It is strategically important to Boral in order to maintain our current position and respond to emerging trends, change and disruption.

‘We continue to invest in research and development with a focus on developing superior-performing products and solutions for our customers that deliver a lower carbon footprint and use recycled content.’

‘The Boral UTS partnership provides a pathway for everyone to work in a diverse and inclusive culture where thinking with an innovation mindset is supported,’ said Dr Louise Keyte, Boral general manager for technology execution and co-director of the UTS Boral Centre for Sustainable Building.

‘The partnership adds a richness to our organization and is a significant step forward for Boral’s capability and our ability to deliver rapid solutions to our customers.’

UTS Boral Centre for Sustainable Building co-director Professor Vute Sirivivatnanon said: ‘Partnering with Boral will significantly advance our research into, and development of, construction materials at Tech Lab, increasing the size and capacity of our research team and accelerating the impact of their work.

‘The Centre will also act as an incubator for the next generation of industry-focused researchers, providing them with the skills and experience to become industry leaders of the future.’

Dr Ray Kirby UTS Tech Lab director said: ‘Our partnership with Boral further strengthens Tech Lab’s commitment to working collaboratively with industry on innovative projects. Tech Lab is ideally suited to deliver value for our partners, as well as ensure that research at UTS continues to be relevant and create economic impact.’

As part of the partnership, Boral have sponsored eight scholarships for students to join researchers, with a focus on providing sustainable solutions to key challenges facing the cement and concrete industry. A UTS academic and a Boral R&D scientist will co-supervise their industry-focused research.

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