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PRIME, a whole-of-industry pathway to a low-emissions future, has proposed to establish the Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling to facilitate the transition the HVAC&R industry to a low-emissions future. The hub aims to create jobs and showcase HVAC&R innovations.

Backed by AIRAH and the CSIRO, 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.

“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,” AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH said.

“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.”

Dr Stephen White, F.AIRAH, from the CSIRO, said 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.

Dr White said 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,” Dr White said.

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,” Dr White said.

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,” Dr White said.

“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.”

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