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There is widespread agreement in the global community that the conventional delivery of food, energy and water services has been resource-negligent, posing significant challenges for sustainable development. More recently, there have been significant attempts for sustainable transformation of food systems (e.g. hydroponics), water systems (e.g. recycling) and energy systems (e.g. renewables). These sectoral attempts, while highly valuable, often overlook the interlinkages between the three systems. The interlinkages provide significant opportunities, as well as challenges, for simultaneous progress on multiple Sustainable Development Goals, and for delivering cross-sectoral transformative impacts.

In late 2016, Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI), in partnership with Monash Energy Materials and Systems Institute (MEMSI) and Monash Food and Agriculture Innovation, set up an initiative for tackling the challenges of sustainable development at the intersection of food, water and energy systems. The initiative aims to mobilise interdisciplinary research across the University and in partnership with industries, businesses, governments and communities, to identify key challenges and generate a range of socio-technical innovations for simultaneous transition of the three systems towards a more sustainable future. In absence of scalable food-energy-water nexus solutions, the initiative will enable projects through which we can experiment with the interdependencies between the three systems and develop proof of concept for broader applications and investments.

The initiative is led by Dr Shirin Malekpour from MSDI. For enquiries, please contact shirin.malekpour@monash.edu