A Chinese company listed in the Fortune Global 500 for the past eight years, and home to more than 120,000 employees, will partner The University of Queensland in sustainable metals research.
Hebei Iron and Steel Group (HBIS) will invest A$5.25 million over the next five years in the HBIS-UQ Innovation Centre for Sustainable Steel (ICSS), based in Brisbane, Australia.
UQ President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Høj flew to Shijiazhuang in China to formally consolidate the agreement with HBIS Chairman Mr Yong Yu.
“The Innovation Centre for Sustainable Steel will conduct collaborative research in the fields of environmental engineering, metallurgical resources and high-quality steel manufacturing,” Professor Høj said.
“Clearly we are excited to partner with such a significant organisation, especially considering this will be the first overseas research and development centre for HBIS.”
The centre will take UQ’s educational resources, cutting-edge theory and research capacity to create training opportunities for HBIS, while providing educational opportunities and occupational training for UQ staff and students.
“Strong research collaboration between UQ and HBIS has already been developed over the past year via an exchange of staff and technical capability,” Professor Høj said.
“HBIS has a strategic target to become the most competitive steel company, and we are excited to work alongside such an ambitious organisation and offer expertise in the area of sustainability.
“We are positioning ourselves at an exciting frontier for engineering and resources.
“This is a partnership that Brisbane, Queensland and Australia can be proud of, further harnessing our strong relationship with China.”
Aside from steel manufacturing, HBIS has major interests in mining, financial securities, logistics, steel trade and equipment manufacturing, among its 20 subsidiaries.
It was ranked 201st in the Fortune Global 500 list for companies in 2016, measured by companies with the most revenue.