SmartCrete CRC Welcomes Paintback Limited as Core Partner

Since establishment in June 2020, SmartCrete CRC has worked to promote scientific and engineering research forging the way for Australia’s concrete industry, including developments within the concrete supply chain and associated industries and today we are delighted to announce Paintback Limited as a new core partner to SmartCrete CRC.

Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

Dr Warren South, CEO of SmartCrete CRC welcomes the partnership.

SmartCrete CRC is pleased to welcome Paintback Limited as a core partner organisation. Partners such as Paintback will assist us in developing our research portfolio to inform the future sustainability of concrete infrastructure.

Paintback’s ambition is to create a stronger circular economy for the materials it collects and lay the groundwork for developing new markets.

Paint already plays a role in circular economic outcomes through preserving and refurbishing infrastructure. Paintback is exploring how it can extend that through putting unwanted paint into new uses.

From trialling recovered paint products in pedestrian footpaths to research testing paint components as new additions to concrete, the national paint recovery scheme Paintback and alliances of Australian scientists and engineers are on the hunt for new ways to extend the circular economy for paint.

“Australians buy more than 100 million litres of paint every year. About 5 per cent of that is surplus to requirements and needs a safe disposal path. The SmartCrete partnership will help harness innovation to create more sustainable infrastructure while extending the life of unwanted paint” says Karen Gomez, Paintback’s chief executive.”


Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

For further information please contact:

Dr Warren South
Chief Executive Officer
SmartCrete CRC
Email: warren.south@smartcretecrc.com.au

SmartCrete CRC engaging with Industry to further advance Sustainability goals.

The SmartCrete CRC is actively operating with the goal to ensure the long-term viability of vital existing and future concrete infrastructure through improvement in cost, application, and sustainability.

Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

SmartCrete CRC does this by providing contacts, connections, and funding for successful research projects to address the various issues and challenges for concrete, especially in its application in infrastructure.

As part of our major research pipeline, SmartCrete CRC is delighted to announce we are funding work currently underway to identify potential pathways for further reducing carbon emissions across the Australian cement and concrete industry.

SmartCrete CRC is proud to be a funding partner in this important sphere and looks forward to sharing more about this work in the coming months. We are particularly excited about the opportunity the project presents to further engage with our partners and connections across the research and academic community.

SmartCrete CRC CEO Dr Warren South said this work is perfectly aligned with the goal of the organization and the commitment to supporting the long-term vitality of existing and future concrete infrastructure.

“As a Co-operative Research Centre, we are delighted to be working with the Cement & Concrete industry in the area of sustainability and are particularly excited about seeing our project funding directed to further research on such a vital aspect of Concrete as a construction material.”

For further information please contact:

Dr Warren South
Chief Executive Officer
SmartCrete CRC
Email: warren.south@smartcretecrc.com.au

SmartCrete CRC project funding announced

SmartCrete CRC is delighted to announce the funding of the inaugural project “Recycled Waste in Concrete for Municipal Applications” in collaboration with industry and research partners OPV (Office of Projects Victoria) and RMIT University.

Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

Since establishment in June 2020, SmartCrete CRC has worked to promote scientific and engineering research for Australia’s concrete industry, including developments within the concrete supply chain and associated industries.

All SmartCrete CRC projects are driven by the needs of industry partners and the end-users with whom they engage.

This project covers a range of areas and will investigate and implement new applications of domestic and industrial waste materials (plastics, rubber, crusher dust, industrial by-products) in the concrete construction industry. It will provide long term environmental and economic benefits to key stakeholders – supply-chain, government, and asset owners.

The project is a strategic response to the demand-supply imbalance in the Victorian infrastructure and waste recovery sector with a primary focus on councils and local municipalities.

Concrete production in Victoria relies on aggregate and cement sourced from natural and finite sand and rock deposits. With the availability of these materials declining, alternative sources of sands and aggregates are urgently required to meet forecasted consumption.

Dr Warren South, CEO of SmartCrete CRC commends the funding.

“We are proud to be funding a project that is the first to “turn the sod” on practical research under the SmartCrete CRC brand and delivers value to both concrete infrastructure and the Australian community”.

Professor Rebecca Gravina RMIT University said:

“Finding new uses for our waste is a vital part of the transition to a circular economy. We hope this exciting collaboration will have a lasting impact, by bringing leading-edge materials technologies for concrete construction to address the performance requirements needed by our industry partners.”

Cressida Wall, Chief Executive, Office of Projects Victoria (OPV) said:

“OPV is pleased to support and promote innovation and excellence in construction which is why we are backing this important project. Recycled waste is an untapped resource and its successful application in municipal infrastructure offers a potential game-changing solution.”

The project represents the first to be funded by the Commonwealth, industry and research partners to deliver on the organisation’s goal of guaranteeing the long-term viability of concrete infrastructure in Australia.

Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

For further information please contact:

Dr Warren South
Chief Executive Officer
SmartCrete CRC
Email: warren.south@smartcretecrc.com.au

SmartCrete CRC announces 8 projects endorsed for funding

SmartCrete CRC is proud to announce 8 projects have been conditionally endorsed for funding following the SmartCrete CRC Board meeting held Thursday, 17 June 2021.

Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

Conditions are required to be met before the projects can be approved for funding and the SmartCrete CRC team are working to assist project partners with meeting these requirements. The Board meeting also accepted revisions to the Project Funding Guidelines with modifications to be communicated in due course.

The 8 projects will run up to four years and involve industry partners with support by our research providers. The program represents a cash investment of almost $5.2 million of Commonwealth funds by the CRC and partner contributions.

Project Partners include: Ash Development Association of Australia (ADAA), Australasian Slag Association, Australasian Pozzolan Association, University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Macquarie University, Paintback, Hawks Excavation (VIC) Pty Ltd, Stretford Civil Constructions Pty Ltd, Transport for NSW (TfNSW), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), University of Newcastle (UoN), Holcim (Australia) Pty Ltd, Curtin University, Australian Engineered Fasteners and Anchors Council (AEFAC), Swinburne University of Technology (SUT).

This is an exciting step in the development of industry led solutions for Australian concrete infrastructure.”
Dr Warren South, CEO
SmartCrete CRC.

Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

For further information please contact:

Dr Warren South
Chief Executive Officer
SmartCrete CRC
Email: warren.south@smartcretecrc.com.au

Concrete Institute of Australia – Weekly Webinar Series

SmartCrete CRC was proud to be showcased as part of the Concrete Institute of Australia’s weekly webinar series on 11 March. The webinar was led by CEO, Dr Warren South, who was joined by Professor Rebecca Gravina of RMIT and Professor Simon Clark of Macquarie University.  

We looked at 3 projects that have been given the “green light” by the government and how these will in fact advance the cement and concrete industry including Recycled Material Concrete Production presented by Professor Rebecca Gravina.

Presentations can be viewed here:

Presentation 1 (pdf)
Presentation 2 (pdf)
Presentation 3 (pdf)

If you would like to watch the full webinar on the Concrete Institute of Australia’s website please click here.

Fast Track projects announced

SmartCrete CRC is proud to announce the funding of three projects submitted under its Fast Track program.

Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

Since establishment in June 2020, SmartCrete CRC has worked to promote scientific and engineering research for Australia’s concrete industry, including developments within the concrete supply chain and associated industries.

The new projects will run for up to the next 3 years and are spread across two of the three SmartCrete CRC research program streams, involving collaboration with our partner organisations. All SmartCrete CRC Fast Track projects are driven by the needs of industry partners and the end-users with whom they engage.

The projects cover a range of areas, including research into the following:

  1. Wastewater Pipeline Sensing System: Innovative and economical photonic sensor interrogation. Read more here
  2. Recycled Material Concrete Production: Recycled Waste in Concrete for Municipal Applications. Read more here
  3. Concrete Corrosion Tracking and Prediction: Cost-effective, deployable photonic sensor system. Read more here

The funding for the projects range from $500,000 and $1 million each.

These three projects represent the first of many to be funded by the Commonwealth, industry and research partners to deliver on the organisation’s goal of guaranteeing the long term viability of concrete infrastructure in Australia.

Industry , government and research partners include: Sydney Water, Melbourne Water, EngAnalysis, City of Ryde, OPV (Office of Projects Victoria), City of Whitehorse (Victoria), Macquarie University, Latrobe University, University of Technology Sydney, and RMIT.

Now that these are funded we are working through our portfolio of 34 active proposals to continue to develop industry led solutions for Australian concrete infrastructure.

Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

SmartCrete CRC announces new Board appointments

After an extensive process in evaluating required skills and experience, four Directors will be joining the Chair, Em. Prof. Elizabeth Taylor AO, and new Board member, Mr Stephen Harmer, to assist in determining the strategic direction and policies of the organisation.

New Board Members
– Dr Gunilla Burrowes
– Catherine Ferrari
– Elizabeth Whitelaw
– Peter Williamson

Click here to read the full Media Release and Board Member Bios (PDF)

The composition of the Board is now well placed to assist with areas such as commercialisation and intellectual property management, change-enabling, stakeholder management and research strategy. These skills will be vital to ensure the success of SmartCrete CRC in enabling solutions through research  to the issues and challenges facing the concrete industry.

The company has set a fast pace in opening its approvals process to proposals and developing in-house policies and procedures ensuring that it creates a balance of expectations for all stakeholders – industry, government and academia.

“SmartCrete CRC is indeed fortunate to have a strong and committed group of people as a Board committed to the success of the organisation. The Board looks forward to working alongside the Management Team as 
they continue to deliver and develop the exciting research program.”
Elizabeth Taylor AO

With an expansive breadth and depth of professional experience in its Board of Directors, SmartCreteCRC Ltd is well placed to step change the Australian concrete ecosystem and address the broader social benefit agenda.

Click here to read the full Media Release and Board Member Bios (PDF)

SmartCrete CRC Announces appointment of new CEO

The Interim Board of the SmartCrete CRC is pleased to announce the appointment of Warren South as Chief Executive Officer for the CRC.

Warren brings a wealth of technical domain experience in the research and development of concrete in Australia and New Zealand. In addition, he brings a strong existing network of industrial, academic and government relationships. Importantly, he offers a direct line of sight into issues within the concrete ecosystem and opportunities for value add.

Chair Elizabeth Taylor stated “We are delighted to welcome Warren. We look forward to working with him and our partners to operationalise innovations that address the problems, and seize the opportunities, identified by asset owners, industry organisations, SMEs, the supply chain, academics and our broader Australian community”.

Warren will join SmartCrete CRC in the middle of September and lead the consolidation of the central services function, initially supporting the “Fast Start” and Round 1 research projects.

Warren commented “SmartCrete CRC is an exciting new opportunity for the cement and concrete supply chain and leading research institutions to collaborate on research aimed at improving the sustainability and durability of concrete in infrastructure. It provides an important vehicle for industry to address pressing research needs, assisted by the best Australian academic minds, to ensure that concrete can maintain its position in underpinning the Australian construction industry. I thank the Federal government in investing in this new venture as part of its Co-operative Research Centres program. As incoming CEO, I look forward to engaging with a wide variety of industry and academic partners to ensure the vision of fully integrated product development and systems capability is achieved”.

Warren joins the SmartCrete CRC following 9 successful years as Director – Research and Technical Services with Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia (CCAA).

SmartCrete CRC has the objective of step changing the concrete ecosystem through improvements in cost, productivity and sustainability.

SmartCrete CRC alignment to Infrastructure Australia 2019 Infrastructure Audit Outcomes

In a recent post Peter Colacino (Chief Policy and Research at Infrastructure Australia) highlighted the need for a renewed focus to our thinking about resilience and sustainability, identified in the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit*.

The report provides a valuable insight into the “Future of Uncertainty” and the subsequent challenges and opportunities facing Australia including the intersection between the demand for infrastructure, the user outcomes, industry capability, the escalation in costs, asset maintenance and sustainability.

The SmartCrete CRC (Cooperative Research Centre) is focussed on improved productivity, lower costs, improved asset management and the development of a sustainable supply chain.

Through outcomes-based R&D SmartCrete CRC is applying high level Technology Readiness Level (TRL) projects to deliver improvements in Concrete to facilitate the innovative design and construction of the next wave of infrastructure designed to stimulate the Australian economy.

SmartCrete CRC has three program areas designed to meet tomorrows needs with “Fast Start” projects for near term results and three further rounds of projects over the next seven years.

The Federal Government grant funding of $21m, supports the $69m raised in cash and in-kind contributions from industrial, government agencies and universities to support the $90m in research project across the three program areas:

  • Engineered Solutions – This program is concerned with improving the way we engineer concrete structures and includes development of smart cladding, reduced noise pavements, 3-d printed concrete structures, self-healing, fire resistance stronger and more durable concrete. lightweight concrete and safety in design.
  • Asset Management – This program is concerned with the way we manage our concrete assets and includes development of sensing systems to monitor structural health and usage, inform lifetime models and extend the service life of concrete infrastructure.
  • Sustainability – This program includes bio-concrete, use of artificial aggregate, CO2 absorbing concrete, luminescent concrete, energy producing concrete, waste disposal in concrete and cement less concrete.

These industry-led themes provide a forum for the development of truly cooperative research projects targeting specific industry outcome to address the productivity, cost, resilience and sustainability of the concrete industry.

Importantly, this focus provides an open environment to bring new players into the supply chain from for example the waste industry, with recycled product forming a key element of the future sustainability of the supply chain.

SmartCrete CRC is addressing the “Future of Uncertainty” with resilient and sustainable research outcomes, supporting new industries and skills development across Australia.

Stephen Harmer
Interim CEO

Research to make construction cheaper & safer

Making construction in Australia cheaper, without compromising safety or quality, will be the focus of two new industry led research centres being backed by the Morrison Government.

The Building 4.0 CRC will receive $28 million in government support, while the SmartCrete CRC will get $21 million to reduce the cost of concrete and improve productivity.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the work of the Building 4.0 CRC would provide Australians with lower cost, smart housing solutions and put Australia among the world leaders in the advanced manufacture of buildings.

“Affordable, sustainable and safe housing is something that concerns all Australians. It’s vital we do what we can to make construction more efficient and cost-effective, without reducing quality,” Minister Andrews said.

“Making sure our homes and apartments are built to the highest standards is particularly important given recent issues which have disrupted the lives of Aussie families and impacted confidence in the sector.”

The Building 4.0 CRC has set ambitious targets for its work, including cutting project costs by 30 per cent, an up to 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions and 80 percent reduction in construction waste.

Minister Andrews said the SmartCrete CRC also had the potential to drive down costs significantly without compromising safety or quality.

“Concrete is so essential to our building industry and public infrastructure projects that even small savings and increases in productivity can make a massive difference,” Minister Andrews said.

“It will allow us to get more bang for our buck, which is so important for the productivity and sustainability of Australian industries.”

The industry-led SmartCrete CRC has generated a further $69 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry and researchers.

The Building 4.0 CRC has also generated a further $102.9 million in cash and in-kind
contributions from industry and researchers, with major partners including Lendlease, Bluescope and Master Builders.

Since 2013, the Government has committed $1.1 billion to support the establishment of 30 CRCs, with industry and research partners contributing $3.4 billion in cash and in-kind contributions.

Media contact: Minister Andrews’ office 02 6277 7070