COVID-19 Update from our CEO
April 1, 2020
During a very uncertain time for all of us, I’m very proud of the way that all our team and participants have reacted to these events, as many of them manage the twin effects of the pandemic and the oil price shock playing out across the globe.
Since early March, the secretariat at the Future Fuels CRC, located in our offices in both Wollongong and Melbourne created plans to deal with the emerging COVID-19 scenarios. This minimised the disruption of the recent move to home working, which was executed seamlessly, in a progressive fashion by all staff over the last two weeks. Initial work to review our complete research project portfolio will be enhanced over the next two weeks, seeking wherever possible to continue the flow and progression of our important work. These activities will be crucial to continuing to deliver value and progress in these unprecedented and challenging circumstances.
We have engaged with all key participants and this will continue forward as a priority. I feel very fortunate that our team and wider community are already well-versed in working remotely and we have the systems in place to do it effectively and safely.
To optimise travel, we had already planned to deliver our first RAC (Research Advisory Committee) meeting by Zoom, well before the onset of the COVID-19 restrictions. This heralded a new way of virtually delivering our key committee engagements that will now become the norm for some time. Our first ever online Commercialisation Committee and Future Fuels CRC Board Meeting on 24/25 March were also highly successful and prove the value of these interactions. Looking forward over the next three months, the next round of Program Steering committee and also the planned June Dissemination Seminar will clearly all now move to virtual formats and webinars alternatives.
Safety remains our number one priority and this will always continue. We will continue reviewing each research project on a case by case basis, working with our research partners to maintain activities where it is safe to do so. We have seen only limited impact so far and look forward to being able to maintain our research during this difficult time. Where a project is impacted, for example because it requires physical laboratory space, we are working with our research partners to bring forward other aspects of the project that allow researchers to work in a safe environment.
David Norman, CEO