Rio Tinto to provide additional funding to the Australia-Japan Innovation Fund

10 October 2023

MELBOURNE- Rio Tinto has committed an additional A$1.7 million to the Australia-Japan Innovation Fund (AJIF), to promote research and academic projects between Australia and Japan, and to further collaboration between industry, educational institutions and governments in the two nations.

The commitment was signed at the 60th Australia-Japan Annual Joint Business Conference, which brings together business leaders from the two countries and is currently underway in Melbourne.

AJIF was until recently the Foundation for Australia-Japan Studies (FAJS)and was established in 2015 to promote industry-academia-government collaboration between Australia and Japan. Its mission is to elevate the profile of Australia-Japan collaboration in science, technology and innovation and support those transforming the bilateral relationship through these partnerships.

Rio Tinto has been the sole funder of the initiative since its establishment, and this latest commitment will bring its total pledges, since its initial support in 2018, to about A$5 million in operating costs and research grants.

With this latest funding, the AJIF will allocate grants to research areas with close links to business between Australia and Japan, such as green steel, renewable energy systems and automated infrastructure. The grants will also play a key role in supporting research between the two countries in science and technology areas relevant to the resources industry as a whole, helping generate the innovations the world needs to decarbonise.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Australia, Kellie Parker said “Science and technology are paramount in tackling today’s global challenges. We are pleased to make a second commitment to the AJIF to support research projects that can help tackle these challenges and build relationships between Australia and Japan.”

Chair of AJIF, Murray McLean said “We welcome Rio Tinto's sustained commitment to supporting collaborative cutting-edge research projects involving Australian and Japanese partners, thereby realising some of the vast potential for such research between the two countries."

Australia’s Ambassador to Japan, Justin Hayhurst said “The Australian Embassy commends Rio Tinto for its strong support for research collaboration between Australia and Japan.”

Japan’s Ambassador to Australia, Kazuhiro Suzuki said “We welcome Rio Tinto’s contribution to the AJIF initiative. Looking forward to seeing Japan and Australia reach new frontiers with cutting-edge research."


1 The Australia-Japan Innovation Fund’s new name will be phased in over coming months. As the AJIF prepares to initiate the allocation process for this round of funding, more information about the program will be published.


About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading global mining and metals company operating in 35 countries, where our employees are working to find better ways to provide the materials the world needs. Rio Tinto’s portfolio includes iron ore, copper, aluminium, lithium and other materials needed for people, communities and nations to grow and prosper, and for the world to cut carbon emissions to net zero. Rio Tinto, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Japan is one of Rio Tinto’s most important and longstanding trading partners. Rio Tinto’s iron ore business was born on the back of Japanese investment and long-term offtake contracts with the Japanese steel mills in the 1960’s. Today, Rio Tinto is one of the largest exporters of metals and minerals to Japan.



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