Launceston will be the home of a new national research hub for marine-based industries, with the Coalition committing $70 million for a new cooperative research centre at the University of Tasmania.
The establishment of the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre will see national and international experts on aquaculture, marine renewable energy and marine engineering pool their expertise together to improve Australian seafood and offshore renewable energy production.
Marine-based industries are collectively referred to as the 'blue economy'.
The Blue Economy CRC's five key focus areas have been divided up according to industry. There's offshore engineering and technology; seafood and marine products; offshore renewable energy systems; the environment and ecosystems; and sustainable offshore developments.
The centre is set to provide for 50 postdoctoral fellowships, as well as 50 PhDs spread across the five research areas.
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In addition to the $70m from government, the project has attracted $258 million in cash and in-kind donations. The Blue Economy CRC will receive the funding over 10 years.
Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre would help to "create more jobs in Tasmania and boost the local economy".
"This $70 million in funding is going to support our renewable energy, seafood and marine environment industries," Ms Andrews said.
"Australia's marine industry employs almost 400,000 people and contributes $70 billion per year to our economy, so our funding today will boost this growth sector predicted to contribute up to $100 billion annually by 2025."
Mark Ryan, chief executive of Tasmanian aquaculture giant Tassal, said the company was "proud" to be the primary contributor of infrastructure and site usage for the centre.
Australian Ocean Energy Group cluster manager Stephanie Thornton said the CRC would enable the nation's ocean energy sector to speed up its efforts to commercialise the industry and to innovate in the offshore engineering space.
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