PRIME leads Innovation Hub Summits in Sydney and Melbourne
PRIME has held summits on its Innovation Hub
(iHub) for Affordable Heating and Cooling initiative in Sydney and
Melbourne. Supported by AIRAH and the CSIRO,
the iHub is being proposed 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.
Attracting participants from all facets of the industry, the
iHub Summits presented an overview on the initiative, and provided
those in attendance with a chance to provide much sought-after feedback.
The iHub concept has bold aims, aspiring to create more than
200 jobs from new products and services, retain Australian
entrepreneurs in Australia, have innovative low-energy designs applied
in at least 10 major construction projects, and establish Australia’s
only dedicated undergraduate degree in Building Services.
Both virtual and physical spaces where a community of
industry innovators, designers and educators can easily access knowledge
and research infrastructure, the iHubs will make it easier to incubate
ideas and reshape industry practice to our future needs.
“The Innovation Hub has the potential to revolutionise the
industry, and these Summits are essential if we want to spread the word
and gather feedback,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH.
“We attracted a great spread of attendees, who included
architects, engineers, facility managers, contractors, and those in the
manufacturing space. We also had representatives from universities,
Sustainability Victoria, and the Department of Environment and Energy.
To see these sectors from the built environment represented at the
Summits was tremendously encouraging.”
The morning session of the Summits kicked off with an
“Introduction to the iHub” presentation from Dr Stephen White, F.AIRAH,
from the CSIRO, followed by a workshop discussion on “Integrated
Building Design Studios”.
“The Innovation Hub aims to incentivise industry to
collaborate across disciplinary silos, encourage innovation, share
learnings and inspire the next generation of students,” says AIRAH
executive manager – government relations and technical services Phil
Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. “Having workshops like this help us understand how
we can have more stakeholders involved and ensure its success.”
The Summit’s second session was reserved for a workshop on
“Research and Innovation toward Net-Zero Energy Buildings”. Buoyed by a
theme of “collaborate to innovate”, the iHub proposes research and
innovation in targeted areas, aiming to focus R&D within the
HVAC&R sector where it can be of most benefit.
Says Wilkinson: “How can we make research on longer-term
net-zero energy building transformation attractive and valued by typical
Australian HVAC&R companies? And, if not attractive to all, then
what niches should we target? How do we build a culture of research
collaboration rather than research silos? These are the issues we’re
trying to address with PRIME and the initiation of the Innovation Hub
for Affordable Heating and Cooling.”
In collaboration with AIRAH and the CSIRO, PRIME plans to
continue to engage with industry, HVAC&R professionals and
educational institutions among others to explore the next steps in
implementing specific iHub projects across the country this year.
PRIME is a whole-of-industry pathway to a low-emissions
future, established over five years of industry consultations and
For more information about the Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling, go to www.airah.org.au/ihub.