Boosting the circular economy in regional NSW

Jul 26, 2019

Media release

NSW Circular together with UNE’s SMART Region Incubator and its Centre for Agribusiness are partnering in a series of events and business visits to help create local circular economy solutions.

The program, running across 1 August, will involve leading local business leaders and other industry, government and research representatives to help develop more sustainable operations and reduce waste, which in many cases can actually be used as a resource.

Waste scientist and engineer, UNSW Sydney Professor Veena Sahajwalla, also Director of NSW Circular, will join UNE Centre for Agribusiness Director, Professor Derek Baker, and UNE SMART Region Incubator Director, Dr Lou Conway, in sharing examples of innovative work in waste and the re-use of materials, and how this brings economic and social benefits.

“Many agribusinesses, manufactures and producers in the New England North West region already demonstrate innovation excellence but the challenge is to bring together the right stakeholders across the whole supply chain to achieve circular economy outcomes,” Professor Veena said.

“We are aiming to facilitate market-based solutions to the opportunities and challenges faced in efficiently managing our materials, supplies and waste and we will be looking for pilot projects to create new pathways and outcomes.”

Professor Veena will join Professor Baker and Dr Conway in visiting a number of leading businesses in the morning, before they host a Circular Economy Project Development Workshop at the UNE SMART Region Incubator for over 30 representatives from local companies and organisations. The Workshop will identify next steps in implementing a circular economy by investigating local problems and their solutions for pilot projects.

This will be followed by an evening event at the Armidale Bowling Club entitled ‘Waste as a Resource: Entrepreneur Hour’, where Professor Veena will give a presentation and the Federal Director, Industry, of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), Michael Sharpe, will facilitate a panel discussion attended by up to 50 representatives from local businesses, government, industry and entrepreneurs. If anyone would like to attend, please go to www.smartri.com.au/events to register.

Dr Conway said: “The UNE SMART Region Incubator has delivered some exceptional outcomes for the region and we are pleased to be in partnership with NSW Circular and the AMGC to help our regional businesses grow and connect with stakeholders to boost their operations and efficiency.”

Professor Baker said: “A circular economy is about keeping materials in use for as long as possible and moving away from a linear process of make, use and dispose. We are hopeful these events will lead to some very positive outcomes for the region.”

Media contacts:

  • To attend one of the events, please contact Dr Lou Dr Conway, UNE, on 0429 629 747 or mconway@une.edu.au.
  • To Interview Professor Veena ahead of the events, please contact Stuart Snell, NSW Circular Communications Consultant, on 0416 650 906 or stuart@nswcircular.org.

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