Warrnambool is well on the way to being the nation's leader in hydrogen expertise after the federal government announced a $7 million grant towards the Hycel Technology Hub on Thursday.
The grant - from the government's Strategic University Reform Fund - is in addition to the $2 million already invested to establish Deakin Warrnambool's research facility last year and the $9 million of state funding announced last week.
Minister for Trade and federal member for Wannon Dan Tehan said the project would be "world leading."
"At this campus, we will now be able to plot the future of hydrogen in this nation," Mr Tehan said.
"We will be able to contribute to one of the most important fuels going forward for our future energy mix."
The project - currently in its design phase - is expected to be complete by December 2022 and will be one of Australia's first regional hydrogen facilities specialising in developing and testing hydrogen fuel technology.
It is expected to create 210 full-time regional and sector jobs including those in cell manufacturing and pilots across the region over the next 10 years.
Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said the new facility would also establish the region as a regional cluster of expertise able to tap into the global hydrogen economy and supply chains valued at over $US2.5 trillion.
"The Hycel Technology Hub will provide the specialist equipment, facilities, research expertise and industry partnerships that will unlock new markets and expedite the uptake of hydrogen as a future fuel in Australia," Professor Martin said.
"The hub will feature Australia's first large fuel cell manufacturing line, which will also test fuel cells for heavy vehicles and industry.
"The facility will also allow testing of existing fuel cells right here in Victoria rather than sending them overseas to Canada or Germany. This will save both energy and time - we anticipate that testing in Victoria will cut waiting periods by two to three years.
"Importantly, the hub will also support training, education and social licence programs to ready the Australian workforce for the hydrogen jobs of the future."
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