Austrade and UTS Join Forces to Deliver Major Decarbonisation Summit

22 August 2023

The inaugural Decarbonising Australia Business Summit – Partnering with Japan on the Transition to Net Zero was developed as a benchmark of bilateral engagement.  Initiated by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Japan Office) and developed and delivered in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), the Summit took place at UTS on 26-28 July.

Driving the Summit agenda was Austrade research into more than 200 of Japan’s largest companies identifying decarbonisation as central to current and future business operations. The research also revealed that Japanese companies are looking for partnership opportunities with Australian industry groups and start-ups to accelerate the transition to net zero.

According to Don Farrell, Australian Federal Minister for Trade and Tourism who delivered the Summit welcome address, Australia plans to expand upon the well-established trade and investment relationship between the two nations and support new decarbonisation initiatives and partnerships.

Australian Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, also a speaker at the Summit, stressed the importance of immediate action saying we are in “the most critical decade to address climate change”.

More than 450 delegates from Japan and Australia – representing leaders in business, government, industry, and research – took part in Summit proceedings, demonstrating collective commitment to decarbonisation efforts and future bilateral partnerships.  Delegates heard from experts across the following topic areas:

  • The Federal Government Clean Energy Policy
  • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
  • The Clean Energy Finance Corporation
  • The Guarantee of Origin Scheme
  • New Technology Delivering Zero Carbon Brewing
  • Green Hydrogen and Ammonia
  • Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage
  • Sustainable Aviation Fuels
  • Green Steel
  • Sustainable Concrete Production

The University of Technology Sydney showcased three examples of leading research and industry partnerships at the Summit.

These included 1) zero-carbon brewing, featuring the successful collaboration between UTS Professor Peter Ralph and Richard Adamson from Young Henrys Brewery; 2) smart concrete solutions demonstrating ground-breaking engineering by UTS Dr Julie Jupp and her industry partners, Clare Tubolets from SmartCrete and Daksh Baweja from BG&E Engineers; and 3) the long-standing partnership between UTS and NTT providing safer and more secure telecoms systems globally.

Feedback on the UTS sessions revealed both Japanese and Australian business are interested in future partnerships, including Masahiro Echigoya from ENEOS Australia who plans to “continue discussions with UTS over future collaboration opportunities”, and Matthew Walden, a Partner with Deloitte, who said, “I would welcome a discussion to understand areas for potential collaboration. The team that I sit within specialises in support Industry and Governments on the commercialisation of new technology to support energy transition. I am sure there are a number of areas that we could explore further with UTS.” 

Summit Take-Aways 

  • 2022 Japanese direct investment (FDI) in Australia reached a new record high of $133.8 billion, 12% of all FDI in Australia (ABS 2023 data)
  • 96% of 220 large Japanese companies view achieving decarbonization as critical to their present and future business operations (Austrade research)
  • 94% of Summit participants indicated they would value attending future Australia – Japan bilateral business summits addressing climate change and delivering net zero targets (Summit outcomes survey)
  • 87% of Summit participants indicated the event provided new insights into decarbonising opportunities in Australia (Summit outcomes survey)
  • 84% of Summit participants indicated they saw opportunity to explore partnerships (business, government, and university) opportunities between both nations with the aim of delivering net zero targets (Summit outcomes survey)
  • 80% of Summit participants were able to make new connections at the event that will aid their partnership ambitions with Japanese and Australian companies (Summit outcomes survey)

The Decarbonising Australia Business Summit – Partnering with Japan on the Transition to Net Zero was held at UTS 26-28 July 2023.

Image credit – David Fredericks, the Secretary of the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment, and Water.