In 2022, MSDI co-hosted the International Sustainability Transitions Conference with Stellenbosch University (South Africa) and Georgetown University (US). This was the 13th annual conference and the first time it had been hosted outside of Europe or Canada. The unique model for this year’s conference provided a mix of online sessions and in-person days in the three regional locations. The conference delivered over 300 presentations on sustainability transitions research topics to help us understand the challenges and opportunities of sustainable and just transitions across different contexts and scales. Around 350 people attended the online sessions. And around 70 people attended the full day, in-person event hosted by Monash in Melbourne.
The Net Zero Precincts Project is a collaborative partnership with Engie, the City Councils of Monash and Greater Dandenong, CSIRO, ICLEI, the Energy Efficiency Council (Australia), and Swinburne University to support urban regions in achieving their net zero targets. By leveraging the Monash Technology Precinct as an ideal scale for urban transition, the project combines the fields of transition management and design anthropology, utilising a living lab approach to pioneer strategies for guiding cities worldwide to net zero.
In 2022, the University completed stage 1 of the Net Zero Precincts Australian Research Council (ARC) project (2021 to 2025). An essential component during stage 1 was co-mapping the system to identify drivers and barriers to achieving net zero. The research involved conducting interviews with 30 members of the precinct community, as well as engaging with 25 frontrunners, including Monash University staff and students, local and state government representatives, and individuals from the SME, corporate, NGO, and social enterprise sectors.
Monash is the lead Victorian research institution in the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Reliable Affordable Clean Energy (RACE) for 2030. Funded with $68.5 million of Commonwealth funds and $280 million of cash and in-kind contributions from our partners, the CRC addresses one of Australia’s major challenges – delivering reliable, affordable and clean energy services for consumers and businesses.
A cross-disciplinary partnership between the Faculty of Information Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Monash Business School, the Monash Grid Innovation Hub, Monash Sustainable Development Institute and the Monash Energy Institute is working to amplify Monash’s research impact in the energy sector. Monash is also leading the RACE for Networks program, which is working to optimise Australia’s electricity grid through customer distributed energy resources and network integration.
Monash Suzhou hosted the Australia China Science and Innovation Forum at Suzhou Industrial Park in July 2022. Sponsored by the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations, the hybrid online and in-person event was attended by representatives of Monash Suzhou Medical Research Institute, Centre for Commercialisation of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) Australia and National Innovation Centre of Excellence (Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute), together with more than 200 academics, experts and business leaders in the region.
Monash University is contributing to the effort to reduce carbon and particulate emissions generated from public transport, by partnering with ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (CDC) to trial electric buses.
The Zero Emission Bus Trial is an interdisciplinary research project that includes the collaborative work of the Mobility Design Lab at Monash Art, Design and Architecture alongside colleagues from the Business, IT, and Engineering faculties. In addition to CDC Victoria, the project is conducted in collaboration with industry partners, Volvo Group Australia, Volgren, ENGIE, Vicinity Centres and TSA Advisory, with funding by the Department of Transport (Victoria). The project seeks to establish a living lab at Monash University Clayton and the CDC Victoria Oakleigh depot to test eight electric buses over three years on a mix of shuttle and neighbourhood bus routes. Data and knowledge from this trial will develop local industry guidance to confidently electrify urban bus routes and accelerate the decarbonisation of public transport.