Circular Economy Initiative

The Circular Economy Initiative brings together leading researchers across different disciplines at Deakin University to drive accelerated, scalable pathways from the laboratory to commercially ready solutions for new circular materials and technologies.

Creating a sustainable and prosperous future

Waste is now a critical problem for all industries with accelerating recognition of the urgent need to redesign, repurpose and reuse products to create a sustainable existence and maximise the value of resources.

In response, Deakin University and CSIRO are developing the Geelong Waurn Ponds Circular Economy Initiative (CEI), a globally significant research facility that will generate sustainable processes, products and waste solutions for industry and ultimately, communities.

This initiative will centre around the establishment of a modular, pilot scale facility at Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, focused on the translation of research based on circular economy principles. Deakin University and CSIRO will leverage their globally recognised research and development in materials science and engineering at the Waurn Ponds campus to design out waste and develop novel ways to maximise value from end of life materials.

Achieving this requires a new approach with advanced materials, technologies and processes that will drive the transition from the current linear waste process to a circular and sustainable economy.

The Circular Economy Initiative will apply outstanding expertise in materials analysis and design, advanced bio-refining and analytical chemistry, process and supply chain development as well as commercial assessment to reuse and repurpose waste materials and design new materials and products.

Research with impact

The Circular Economy Initiative will primarily focus on working with manufacturing supply chains initially across five key development streams:

  • Fibre and textiles
  • Organics
  • Carbon fibre and composites
  • Advanced alloys
  • Energy materials

Powering innovation

Deakin has already had considerable success across all development streams including breakthroughs in areas such as new animal feedstocks, sustainable fibres, self-healing materials, PV panels, the re-purposing of alloys and solar panels.

World-class facilities

Our Waurn Ponds campus is home to the Advanced Fibre Cluster, which incorporates Carbon Nexus, the world’s only open access industrial multiscale carbon fibre production facility, as well as other outstanding facilities in fibre and material science and transformational engineering. World-class advanced characterisation and testing facilities further enhance the Circular Economy Initiative's capacity to optimise and evaluate performance across the full manufacturing and production process.

The CEI will be located within CSIRO’s industrial scale processing facility on campus to capitalise on the many synergies with existing larger scale equipment and resources. Further specialised equipment is also being positioned in the Factory to expand research capacity and accelerate the development process.

Learn more about Deakin's state-of-the-art engineering facilities

Strengthening Victoria’s economy

The Circular Economy Initiative will strengthen Victoria’s future by delivering:

  • new materials, technologies and processes to help design out waste and cut the cost of waste management
  • extraction of value from existing waste and development of new market opportunities, industries and employment
  • regenerated and re-purposed products to prolong usage and maximise value
  • streamlined access for industry to diverse capabilities and resources to generate integrated and comprehensive solutions to waste issues
  • new strategic, high value research and development partnerships to enhance collaboration and industry growth
  • assistance in the development of a sustainable new economy.

Building on outstanding scientific capabilities in materials, fibre, food and chemistry, the CEI will link with other strengths in engineering, supply chain optimisation, artificial intelligence and consumer and economic analysis to assist industry in creating scalable pathways to market.

Discover how we're driving change across industries

Working with us

The CEI will provide a significant opportunity for industry to accelerate the development and commercialisation of advanced circular technologies and products, opening up new markets and reducing waste into the future.

Deakin University and the CSIRO have a proud history of successful partnerships with industry, community and governments through research and development, and contribute strongly to building the workforce of the future through tailored education, PhD programs, internships and work placements. Deakin and the CSIRO combined with governments to develop the $103m Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre at Waurn Ponds in 2012 and have continued to expand capacity across the full carbon fibre supply chain and move into new areas such as x-ray analysis.

Join us to drive the transition to a circular economy

If you'd like to learn more about our projects, connect with our researchers or discuss partnership opportunities, we'd love to hear from you.

Contact us