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Royal visit for Logan’s innovation hub

Published: 29 November 2018

Royal visit for Logan’s innovation hub
The Duke of York, KG shares a joke with Jarrod Trevathan during his visit to the City of Logan's innovation and recycling hub Substation33.

The City of Logan today welcomed His Royal Highness The Duke of York, KG with a visit to Substation33, the city’s award-winning electronic waste recycling centre and innovation laboratory.

The Duke is on a four-day visit to Queensland encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas nationally and internationally through his Pitch@Palace Australia initiative.

Founded by HRH in 2014, the incentive provides a global network for early-stage businesses to find potential supporters to help make their dreams become reality.

The Duke has returned to Australia after the successful launch of Pitch@Palace Australia in September 2017, this time travelling through five states ahead of the final event in Brisbane.

Substation33 is a social enterprise founded six years ago by Mr Tony Sharp in the Logan suburb of Kingston

The electronic waste recycling centre provides opportunities for volunteers and employees to gain the skills and confidence for a transition to sustainable employment while at the same time reducing e-waste.

Substation33 turns old laptops, computers and household appliances into innovations such as electric bicycles, Bluetooth speakers and a solar trailer to provide power to local festivals for free.

In collaboration with Logan Council and Queensland’s Griffith University, the enterprise has also developed 37 smart road signs that light up during floods.

HRH today spoke to workers at Substation33 and inspected some of their ongoing entrepreneurial projects.

Among them was Mr Bradley Clair, the founder of AMPLFY, which mentors at-risk youths, and co-founder of PowerWells.

Through Mr Clair’s work at Substation33, he has turned discarded laptop batteries destined for landfill into a larger combined single battery - a PowerWell - powered by a solar panel.

The Duke was accompanied on the visit by City of Logan Acting Mayor Councillor Cherie Dalley; Councillor Steve Swenson; Mr Tony Sharp; Mr Clair, founder AMPLFY and co-founder of PowerWells; and Ms Cath Bartolo, chief executive officer YFS Ltd.

Cr Dalley said it was an honour for Logan to host HRH.

“The City of Logan is delighted The Duke of York was able to make time during his visit to Queensland to inspect one of our city’s most innovative and inclusive recycling and skills training facilities,” Cr Dalley said.

“Substation33 is a start-up business that has embraced the emerging innovative culture within our city with programs that provide opportunities for those in the Logan community to learn new skills and become work-ready.”

The Duke, who has already visited Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast, will be in Brisbane tomorrow (Friday, November 30) for the announcement of the 2018 Pitch@Palace Australia 2.0 national winner. PowerWells is among the contenders.