Centre of Excellence for cleantech and circular economy

We have investigated whether Geelong could be established as a cleantech and circular economy centre of excellence through Cleantech Innovations Geelong.

Our centre of excellence vision

Our vision is to establish Geelong as a Centre of Excellence for Cleantech and Circular Economy in Australia, by attracting investment, supporting innovation, creating jobs, and building skills.  We will do this by fast tracking the growth of cleantech businesses in, or moving to, Geelong through a place-based approach that seeks to support sustainable business and the local lifestyle.

In 2020 we road tested this vision with business leaders, and they all agree it’s a good idea to pursue this vision.  Now we need to understand how we make it happen.

Engagement with key business leaders, investors and enablers was conducted during 2020-2021.  Deakin University students from three academic disciplines have also assisted by using the Geelong Centre of Excellence investigation as a focal point; Interdisciplinary Planning and Design, Geoplanning and Design, and Urban Design Studio. 

The transition to a cleantech economy requires a strong pipeline of projects to attract ongoing investment. Geelong has a successful track record for nurturing cleantech start-ups and has several larger players with mature projects. But, Geelong faces the common challenge of attracting funding to quickly scale up the start-ups to more mature, low risk companies commonly sort after by traditional investors.

The success of Geelong’s Centre of Excellence for Cleantech will be measured by its ability to attract investment to accelerate the emergence of new industries. Globally, the need to quickly transition into a more sustainable economy is challenging traditional approaches to business investment.

A key enabler of achieving an economic transition is to mobilise finance – both public and private. The problem is traditional approaches are often inadequate to drive complex transitions such as the shift to a sustainable economy.

We generated two reports in 2022 about the centre of excellence investigations: 

  1. One report outlines a Roadmap for how Geelong can establish itself as a centre of excellence for cleantech and circular economy solutions.
  2. The other report presents the design research work developed by post graduate students at the School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin University, who were tasked with investigating opportunities for establishing Geelong as a National Centre of Cleantech Excellence.

    The authors of this report would like to acknowledge:
    • all students who participated in the three units
    • the professional reference group of invited speakers who provided valued insight, knowledge and shared experience to the student cohorts; and the tutorial staff, Dr Murray Herron and Shilpi Tewari, who were involved in the delivery and student supervision of SRD760 Geo Planning and Design. The authors also sincerely thank the work of the contributing students to this report, in particular:
      • Jacinta Cox
      • Harold Payet and Adam Holmstrom
      • John Tsikouris, Nicholas Brandrick and Robbie Hickleton
      • Matt Watson, Matilda Warner and Bronte Panckridge and
      • Elliot Creed, Luke Jennings and Melody Kingoo.

      Copyright: The copyright of the student work presented in this report is owned by the students who authored the work, and must not be reproduced without the express permission from the students concerned and Deakin University.

      Disclaimer: The work included in this report was developed by students at the School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin University. The work was prepared within a teaching program specifically for education purposes and does not constitute the views or opinions of Deakin University.

If you would like a copy of either or both reports, please contact us on 03 5272 5272

Did you know? 

  • Geelong has established business associations, community groups and networks; an emerging cluster of start-ups; capabilities in advanced manufacturing, industrial design and technology; scientific facilities and expertise in health and infectious diseases; strong leadership in education, healthcare, social insurance and social investment sectors; and regional food production, agribusiness and tourism (Greater Geelong – a clever and creative future, City of Greater Geelong, 2017).
  • Geelong has a diverse range of education facilities; port, rail, airport, freight infrastructure; available commercial and industrial land; established sporting and cultural infrastructure; a variety of relatively affordable housing options; and established cultural and arts facilities (Greater Geelong – a clever and creative future, City of Greater Geelong, 2017).
  • Geelong is one hour from Melbourne, which is going to be the biggest city in Australia by 2025.
  • Geelong has a growing population, which will continue over the next 30 years.  Proximity to Western Victoria and Melbourne provides two-way access to markets and investment.
  • With this population growth there will be businesses coming to locate in Geelong.
    Cleantech Innovations Geelong wants to influence this influx by attracting cleantech related businesses.
  • Clean technologies are defined as economically viable products, services and processes that harness renewable materials and energy sources, dramatically reduce the use of natural resources and cut or eliminate emissions and wastes. We expand this definition to include circular economy attributes.
  • Cleantech Innovations Geelong is a business and industry support program. The program has been operating since 2014, delivering positive economic growth and sustainability outcomes for Greater Geelong. The program is a partnership between the City of Greater Geelong, the Geelong Manufacturing Council and the state government.
  • Cleantech Innovations Geelong is in line with the community-led 30-year vision for a clever and creative future, Geelong’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design, the growing circular economy agenda and the City's Sustainability Framework and Action Plan.

Page last updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2023