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Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) was established as a not-for profit member-based company by the Victorian government in December 2009, with a mandate to professionally manage R&D projects for low emissions utilisation of lignite on behalf of its funders.


In March 2019, the company adopted the trading name of Australian Carbon Innovation (ACI), reflecting a change of focus away from power generation and toward the manufacture of high value, low-emissions products based on carbon innovation (including CO₂ recycle), hydrogen utilisation and emissions reduction technologies.


ACI's mission was to actively support the creation and development of new opportunities in low-emissions carbon-based products and industries, based on upgrading undervalued but abundant carbon resources. Its research investment objectives were:

  • To advance and accelerate innovative technologies in Australia by supporting focused, collaborative research in high priority technologies;

  • To retain local expertise in, and attract international expertise to, Australia in lignite-related technologies;

  • To support growth in skills and capacity in Australian lignite-related technologies for the domestic and international markets; and

  • To make the results of that research available, as appropriate and respecting intellectual property protection, to BCIA’s funders and to the Australian public.


BCIA / ACI benefited from the support of its member organisations, and in return provided assistance as required to help them derive benefit from Victoria’s lignite resource. The membership of the following organisations is gratefully acknowledged.

  • State Government of Victoria

  • Australian National Low Emissions Coal Research and Development (ANLEC R&D)

  • Japan Coal Energy Centre

  • Lignite Energy Council (North Dakota)


  • Monash University

  • Federation University Australia

  • Energy Australia

  • HRL

  • Environmental Clean Technologies

  • Ignite Energy Resources

  • Mantle Mining Corporation

  • Steele Australia

  • Exergen

  • Greenpower Energy

  • Coal Energy Australia (now Cleantech Energy Australia)

  • Sustineri

  • Omnia Specialities




Over a 14 year period, BCIA / ACI benefically drew upon a number of partnerships and strategic alliances to further its mission and benefit its members.

Australian National Low Emission's Coal Research and Development (ANLEC R&D)

ACI served as the lignite (brown coal) node of ANLEC R&D’s activities. R&D investment opportunities were derived from ACI's funding relationship with ANLEC R&D.

For more information click ANLEC R&D


Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC)

ACI's partnership with CO2CRC enabled ACI members to access information developed and provided by CO2CRC.

For more information click CO2CRC


National and Victorian alliances

ACI cultivated strategic linkages between national and Victorian research organisations and key Commonwealth and State Government agencies, to help create new business opportunities and solve challenging industrial problems.

For more information click DJPR and DELWP, CSIRO, Deakin University, Federation University (Gippsland), University of Melbourne, Monash University, RMIT University, Swinburne University


Global CCS Institute (GCCSI)

GCCSI partnership enabled ACI to keep up to date with world developments in Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) technology and contribute to the CCS R&D international network.

For more information click GCCSI


Japan Coal Energy Centre (JCOAL)

ACI was the only international member of JCOAL, and the reciprocal membership fostered linkages between Australian and Japanese researchers and industry participants.

For more information click JCOAL


Lignite Energy Council

ACI's partnership with Lignite Energy Council helped to explore and exchange R&D information that could help reduce emissions and increase efficiencies of coal and lignite conversion facilities.

For more information click Lignite Energy Council


Committee for Gippsland

The Committee for Gippsland is a positive and influential voice for Gippsland. It is an independent and member driven advocacy organisation for the region, comprising of around 90 organisations across industry, business and community in Gippsland. Sector neutral, the Committee for Gippsland is a not-for-profit, incorporated organisation that takes a whole of region approach to Gippsland.

For more information click Committee for Gippsland

CarbonNet Project

The CarbonNet Project is investigating the potential for establishing a commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) network in Victoria's Latrobe Valley, in which captured CO₂ would be transported via a shared pipeline and injected deep underground into offshore geological storage sites in Bass Strait. ACI was a strong supporter of the development of CCS technology for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heavy industries in Australia.


For more information click CarbonNet Project

Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain

The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) aims to safely and efficiently produce and transport clean hydrogen from Victoria’s Latrobe Valley to Japan. ACI supported the development of low-cost CO₂-free hydrogen in Victoria and the flow-on opportunities that will be created locally through this initiative.


For more information click HESC


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