Griffith University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with award-winning independent technology company Everledger, founded by CEO Leanne Kemp, the current Queensland Chief Entrepreneur.
Everledger is an independent technology company helping businesses surface and converge asset information, using a symphony of secure technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, intelligent labelling and Internet of Things.
The new partnership is expected to deliver a wealth of opportunities for researchers within Griffith Business School, given Everledger’s strong global market position and network.
Griffith Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Mario Pinto said the collaboration was an exciting opportunity to extend the reach of innovative research being undertaken at Griffith.
“The MoU outlines our mutual intention to work together over the next three years in addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) challenges, in line with our shared values and goals around a circular economy, sustainable enterprise, and responsible leadership,” Professor Pinto said.
“It will include joint research projects and development of innovative technology or service delivery of interest and benefit to both Griffith and Everledger across a range of subject areas.
“As part of the post covid-19 economic recovery strategy, Australia needs to invest and focus on responsible manufacturing and recalibrate our workforce to be more digital-ready and innovative to differentiate our impact on production and consumption.
“Griffith has a solid reputation for working in partnership with industry to mobilise knowledge and deliver cutting-edge and practical solutions that make a positive and lasting difference to society.”
Everledger CEO Leanne Kemp said the work underway with Everledger and Griffith University provided a unique position to affect change.
“It will foster the move from the wasteful linear economy model to a more viable and sustainable circular economy,” Kemp said.
“Recycling technology isn’t good enough! Most plastics that are recycled are shredded and reprocessed into lower-value applications, such as polyester carpet fibre; only two percent are recycled into products of the same or similar quality. This is largely due to limitations in how plastics can be sorted by chemical composition and cleaned of additives. We need better recycling technology that can maintain quality and purity so that product manufacturers are willing to use recycled plastics.
“We use the wrong business models! Companies should also design products for circularity. For example, if lithium ion battery manufacturers designed their products with similar mixtures of chemicals, it would allow for more recycling because recyclers could standardize their process.
“Together we’ll shape a more circular future with our global network. This is an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ moment in history—and early movers are likely to capture significant market opportunities. The coalitions are forming. If you run a major company, investment vehicle or government agency, you should be securing your seat.”
The partnership will deliver development opportunities for Everledger staff including seminars, workshops and professional education and the opportunity for university coursework or curriculum development utilising Everledger expertise.
It will also provide unique and compelling benefits for Griffith University students through research-led, industry-engaged, and market shaping collaboration towards achieving inclusive economic growth.
Already, work has begun on a series of Research and Development projects to co-develop technology-enabled tools to identify and trace objects in various industries, led by Everledger head of ANZ region Peter Hughes and Griffith’s Business Strategy and Innovation researcher Professor Dian Tjondronegoro.
“Mapping the journey of a tyre (as a precious material) for instance, is very important to maximise its lifetime and value,” Professor Tjondronegoro, from Griffith Business School, said.
“Our project will focus on combining AI into a supply chain system for enabling a faster process of tracking a tyre from its original/manufactured state, to its subsequent use over time until its end of life.
“The outcome will contribute towards both economic and waste management impacts.
“The supply chain system will integrate end-customers to improve transparency and traceability. The AI will help capturing and identifying a tyre’s unique features, and its conditions variations (e.g. wear and tear of the threads) to provide a more transparent tracking of its lifetime and usage.
“Using a sophisticated combination of AI and technology-enabled tools, we also want to be able to detect replica luxury watches without dissembling them, which is an important capability to protect the reputation and prestige of the manufacturing companies.”
Other future partnership opportunities will include a joint webinar featuring Griffith Business School’s Professor Anne Tiernan, who will discuss how jointly designed solutions can influence the policy and governance of circular economy and other industries.
Professor Tiernan is respected for her independent, professional and research-informed analysis and commentary on national politics, public administration and public policy. She consults regularly to Australian governments at all levels.