Today the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination (NCED) at Murdoch University’s Rockingham campus was officially launched with a turning of the sod ceremony and 'pushing the button' on the excavator.
The University was awarded $20 million by Australian Government in 2009 to host the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination (NCED), an integral part of the Australian Government’s long-term Water for the Future initiative.
The federal funding over five years was topped by up with an extra $3 million from the Western Australian State Government.
The Honourable Gary Gray MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Western and Northern Australia, launched the Centre by breaking ground and pushing the excavator button on behalf of Australian Government Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, Senator Penny Wong, alongside Murdoch’s Vice Chancellor Professor John Yovich.
The NCED's aim is to establish an internationally significant research and development destination that helps Australia and the world face future challenges of water security.
Murdoch University, as Administering Organisation of the Centre, has partnered with Australia’s leading water and desalination research institutions to bring together diverse capabilities and resources.
The 12 projects that the NCED Board has approved for the first round of funding were also announced at the launch ceremony today.
Professor David Doepel, Murdoch’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Research (Acting), said the recommendations for the Centre’s first $3 million funding round would further generate around $7.1 million of in-kind contributions and $1.5 million in leveraged cash from industry, bringing a total of $11.6 million of research activity to the precinct.
“The NCED’s grant funding supports a range of activities and investments, including scholarships and fellowships, and research and commercialisation pursuits,” said Professor Doepel.
“The funding recommendations are inclusive of all NCED’s participating organisations and span all five research theme areas: pre-treatment; reverse osmosis desalting; novel desalting; concentrate management; and social, economic and environmental issues.”
A second funding round is scheduled to open in September 2010.