Australian Partners

Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence

The Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence is a national research organisation aiming to enhance the efficiency, expansion and acceptance of water recycling in Australia through industry, government and research partnerships. Through its investment in a portfolio of industry-relevant research projects, the Centre has developed practical solutions to secure Australia?s future water supply. At the same time, it contributes to developing community understanding about this resource. Significantly, the Centre is also working with key stakeholders to maximise benefits of urban water research nationally and ensure a sustainable research and development program long term. The Centre is an Australia-wide, independent research organisation established in 2009 by Commonwealth funding, and the support of the Queensland Government. The Centre manages a $42 million research program, co-ordinating more than 40 projects with the support of over 110 partners from the research, government, utility, private enterprise sectors. To enhance management and use of water recycling through industry and research partnerships, build capacity and capability within the recycled water industry, and promote water recycling as a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable option for future water security. The Centre is administered by Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence Ltd, a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. The company is governed by a Board of Directors, managed by the CEO and its research investment strategy is guided by a Research Advisory Committee which comprises delegates from distinguished water industry entities that represent a collaboration of commercial and research interests.

– Brokering stakeholder requirements: national and international needs assessment
– Stakeholder communications, engagement approaches and tools on water futures
– Water treatment technology validation (drinking and recycled), internationally
– National water quality guideline review (Australia and internationally)
– Information and knowledge management: purposeful vehicles for information management
– Strategy development: research and program implementation
– Research management: administration of invited and tendered research proposals
– Research impact: strategic and operational approaches to knowledge adoption
– Industry capacity building: strategy development and program implementation

  • Streamlining technology validation (WaterVal)
    WaterVal is one of the Centre’s ‘flagship’ programs comprising a variety of scientific, policy and regulatory governance projects aimed at developing and implementing a more streamlined approach to the validation of water treatment technology (nationally and internationally). This program is now directed at drinking and recycled water treatment, and has direct applicability at a variety of scales and settings. While initiated for the improved regulation of Australian water treatment, WaterVal is now seen as having direct applicability in the Indo-Pacific region (eg Vietnam) as well as in South America, the United States and South America. Workshops in each have been / are being planned.
  • Stakeholder engagement resources for alternate water sources (Water360)
    Water360 is one of Centre’s ‘flagship’ programs. Borne out of the experiences in the introduction of alternate water sources, the Australian water industry prioritised the need for research-based analyses regarding the technical, social and governance issues around water reuse for drinking. This program draws upon international experience and best practice, and identifies the elements for implementing a successful community and stakeholder engagement program. Water360 is now an international partnering program centered around this initiative
  • National knowledge brokering and research impact management
    Research impact and knowledge brokering is a driving theme for the way the Centre conducts its business. It’s self-determined KPIs in this regard mean that the Centre has developed a practical, yet effective means of ensuring that, in all R&D projects, industry is involved and will benefit from the impact and innovation outcomes.
  • Industry engagement and participation (particularly, private sector)
    The Centre is highly industry focussed, particularly in regard to the identification of needs and the subsequent brokering of knowledge with both water utilities and the private sector. The Centre facilitated the establishment of a new national industry innovation network (the Water Business Network), with the specific objective of maximising the uptake of knowledge and innovations from its projects. Through this, it facilitated the private sector’s active engagement in projects and associated knowledge brokering activities. All Centre projects have had active industry partners and advisors.
  • Brokering national water industry innovation needs with key stakeholders
    The Centre is recognised nationally and highly regarded for its brokering role across the innovation spectrum – from needs identification to impact and outcome delivery. It has a well- demonstrated capability to engage with all sectors in the water industry to define common needs and then seek the most efficient and effective means of applying R&D to address these with practical outcomes. Additionally, the Centre has experience in brokering national discussions between key stakeholders on the priority themes and process improvements required to achieve more efficient and effective water R&D. This Partnership Working Group process included all peak organisations in the Australian water industry (public and private).
  • Research management
    The Centre has demonstrated its capability for successfully managing a research program. It has overseen a $42 million research program, coordinating more than 40 projects with the support of over 110 national and international partners from the research, government, utility, private enterprise sectors. Its governance arrangements for this program allow for peer-review of projects by industry experts, piloting and demonstration of innovation and management of IP so as to allow the maximum impact and return on investment (including both commercial exploitation or public good outcomes)
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