PRIME instigates an Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling

PRIME, supported by AIRAH and the CSIRO, is proposing to establish the Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling as a key mechanism for facilitating the HVAC&R industry’s transition to a low-emissions future, stimulating jobs growth, and showcasing HVAC&R innovations.

“The Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling will provide virtual and physical spaces where a community of industry innovators, designers and educators can easily access knowledge and research infrastructure,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH.

“This will make it easier to incubate ideas and reshape industry practice to the needs of the 21st century. The Innovation Hub will enable Australian small to medium enterprises to accelerate product development, including through access to cutting-edge intellectual property, independent technology validation, and interfaces with venture capital investment.”

The Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling is aimed at supporting industry – such as manufacturers, product entrepreneurs, designers and consultants – to deliver the low-carbon buildings of the future. 

Dr Stephen White, F.AIRAH, from the CSIRO, says the Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling will create a connected HVAC innovation community in Australia with a shared IP platform, a streamlined and flexible research environment, Living Laboratories and design studios.

White says the design studios will help developers and asset owners to work with the design industry to explore new high-performance building solutions in more detail, and provide access to international networks and knowledge.

“‘Collaborate to innovate’ is the key theme, with low-emission heating cooling solutions for buildings the primary focus,” White says.

White says a Living Laboratory is a real-life place that is made available to flexibly trial HVAC&R innovations in products and services, in an environment of collaboration. 

“In a Living Laboratory all interested stakeholders – owner, suppliers, users, and researchers – can participate, collaborate, co-create and reflect on improvements and alternative solutions,” he says.

The Innovation Hub has bold aims, aspiring to create more than 200 jobs from new products and services, retain Australian entrepreneurs in Australia, get innovative low-energy designs applied in at least 10 major construction projects, and establish Australia’s only dedicated undergraduate major in Building Services.

“The Innovation Hub will support the broader HVAC&R industry with knowledge dissemination, skills development and capacity building,” White says. “We want to help Australian SMEs compete on the world stage. We encourage companies to join up as members to gain access to all these resources and free testing infrastructure.”

AIRAH is the leading specialist membership association for air conditioning, refrigeration, heating and ventilation professionals.

CSIRO is Australia’s national research agency and innovation catalyst.

PRIME is a whole-of-industry pathway to a low-emissions future, established over five years of industry consultations and visioning work. 

For more information about the Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling, go to www.airah.org.au/ihub

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