Businesses throughout Melbourne's west will receive expert advice and resources on sustainability with the establishment of the Sustainability Knowledge Centre at Victoria University.
The centre has been funded through a grant of $75,000 from the Commonwealth Department of Innovation Industry, Research and Science, and with University funding of $130,000.
Director of VU's Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (ISI) Professor Stephen Gray said the centre would fill a critical need for assistance on sustainability for small to medium enterprises.
"Small business has identified a lack of expertise and resources on sustainability specifically for their needs. As they confront the impending move to emissions trading, rising water prices and the complex issues of climate change, businesses need a helping hand that we will now be able to offer," Professor Gray said.
"We will use our existing database of 25,000 plus contacts to network with enterprises, identify their needs and provide support."
"The ISI will draw on the expertise available from staff and postgraduate and undergraduate students across a range of disciplines including environmental engineering, the social sciences, business and law to work on this project."
"We will also provide assistance with grant applications and with identifying products and technical resources that business can source to help them on their journey to sustainability."
The Sustainability Knowledge Centre, based at the ISI on the Werribee Campus, expects to start operations later this month. The initial grant will cover a pilot project of nine months that the University will work towards extending.