Round 2: Industry-researcher collaboration

The second round of the R&D Program promotes industry and research partnerships that seek to develop and commercialise renewable energy technologies, and to provide a broader range of energy options to reduce future energy costs.

Program priorities

Projects must develop industry-research partnerships with at least one eligible Australian research institution (research partner) and at least one industry partner and address one or more of the four key technology focus areas.

Key technology focus areas

Projects must address one or more of the following four key technology focus areas:

  1. Balance of System (BoS) cost reduction (either on-grid or off-grid)
  1. Integration and high penetration of renewables into networks (either on-grid, off-grid or mini-grids)
  1. Integration of renewable energy for industrial process (excluding electricity generation)
  1. Integration of renewable energy into buildings or building materials

Projects ARENA has undertaken in the technology focus areas


Up to $20 million was available in this second round. Grants are typically $500,000 – $5 million, with no individual grant to exceed $10 million.

Funding recipients were announced in April 2016. $17 million funding was awarded, leveraging substantial contributions from private and public sectors, with combined project values totalling more than $54 million.

The full list of project partners and complete profiles for each are available in the table below.

Project Lead organisation ARENA funding Total value
Integrating Concentrating Solar Thermal Energy into the Bayer Alumina Process University of Adelaide $4,500,000 $15,100,000
Smart sodium storage system for renewable energy storage The University of Wollongong $2,700,000 $10,600,000
Consumer energy systems providing cost-effective grid support (CONSORT) Australian National University $2,900,000 $8,000,000
Utilising biogas in sugarcane transport and milling Queensland University of Technology $2,100,000 $5,700,000
Wave energy cost reduction through location and configuration optimisation The University of Western Australia $994,000 $3,600,000
Real-time operational PV simulations for distribution network service providers Australian National University $1,010,000 $3,300,000
A robotic vision system for automatic inspection and evaluation of solar plants Australian National University $875,000 $3,100,000
Increasing the uptake of solar PV in strata residential developments Curtin University of Technology $900,000 $2,600,000
Maximising solar PV with phase change thermal energy storage University of South Australia $995,000 $2,100,000

News and media releases

Media release – 13 April 2016: R&D-industry collaboration bringing ideas to the market
Speech transcript – 13 April 2016: ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht addressing R&D funding launch
News – 15 April 2015: Information sessions about ARENA’s new R&D funding round
Media release – 13 April 2015: ARENA opens $20 m R&D round for industry-partnered projects