Innovative waste to biofutures project funding

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The Queensland Government has opened up expressions of interest for its new $5 million Queensland Waste to Biofutures Fund (W2B Fund).

The fund will help Queensland companies find innovative ways to convert waste into bio-based products – creating investment opportunities and more long-term, high-value jobs across the state.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick, said the aim was to make Queensland a world leader in the re-manufacturing of materials to turn waste into bioenergy, biofuels and bioproducts.

This includes utilising household food and green waste, tyres and plastics, recovered fats and oils from restaurants, and biosolids from sewage treatment plants.

“The Queensland Waste to Biofutures Fund offers grants from $50,000 to $1 million to develop pilot, demonstration or commercial-scale projects that produce bio-based products instead of conventional fossil fuel-based products,” Mr Dick said.

“The fund will support projects that transform carbon-rich waste from agriculture, food processing, construction and industrial processes into bioenergy, biofuels and bioproducts.

“Through this initiative we’ll see innovative waste processing technologies emerge that are scalable and can be deployed statewide, particularly in regional areas of Queensland.

“We’re already doing this at pilot plants where we’re converting a variety of feedstocks like sugarcane waste into biofuels.

“These processes are supporting Queensland’s transition to a low carbon, circular economy – the results being improved energy efficiency, enhanced fuel security and reduced emissions.”

Bioenergy Australia CEO, Shahana McKenzie, said the fund is policy in action and another example of how Queensland is leading the nation in the biofutures industry.

“Supporting innovation is key to developing new technologies as an alternative to fossil-fuel based derivatives, and the Queensland Waste to Biofutures Fund does just that,” Ms McKenzie said.

Mr Dick said the fund has two pathways, both which require the applicant to provide co-funding that matches or exceeds the grant amount.

“The first pathway is the purchase and installation of plant and equipment for an existing or greenfield facility to produce bioenergy, biofuels and bioproducts,” Mr Dick said.

“The second pathway is collaborative research projects that could contribute to the commercial development and growth of Queensland’s biofutures industry.”

The fund is in addition to Queensland’s $100 million Resource Recovery Industry Development Program, which targets projects using proven technologies that divert waste from landfill or stockpiling.

“Both these initiatives complement our Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan, which is positioning our state as an Asia-Pacific hub for the industrial biotechnology and bioproducts sector,” Mr Dick said.

Expressions of interest can be made via the W2B Fund webpage (www.dsdmip.qld.gov.au/w2b-fund) until 5pm, Monday 8 April 2019.

Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to make a detailed application.

It is anticipated the initial projects selected will be funded within the first half of 2019.

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