Infrastructure CoLab

How do we deliver sustainable infrastructure in a system designed for linear and fossil fuel based economies?

Changing the system architecture or scaling new niche innovations is a complex task in infrastructure requiring a value chain approach and government involvement. The Infrastructure CoLab was co-designed by academics at the University of Queensland and industry partner Business Models Inc to support Australia’s infrastructure industry to overcome barriers to design and build circular and decarbonised infrastructure. The initiative provides a structured model for industry-led multi-party innovation with sponsorship and support from the Queensland Government. The collaboration emerged following research undertaken by UQ identifying the many systemic challenges the infrastructure industry faces to achieve decarbonisation and circular economy transitions.

How do we accelerate the transition?

As part of the program, UQ is undertaking a suite of research to evaluate the effectiveness of the Infrastructure CoLab to support the industry to transition towards decarbonisation and circularity. Research mapping how the unique initiative was co-designed with industry and government was published in an international peer reviewed journal. The research identified the lack- and importance- of meso-level initiatives like the Infrastructure CoLab to integrate micro level innovations and macro level policies for circular economy. Current research suggests the initiative reflects a new form of actor to support sustainability transitions. A longitudinal study is also underway with participants and stakeholders of the Infrastructure CoLab to ensure we continue to improve the critical task of multi-party innovation for sustainability transitions.


Cristyn MeathDr Cristyn Meath
Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law


Dr Jurij Karlovsek
Senior Lecturer, School of Civil Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and IT

headshot of Syvannah WilsonSyvannah Wilson
Senior Research Assistant
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law

Catalina Espinosa TovarCatalina Espinosa Tovar
Research Assistant
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law


Profile photo of Dr Tracy MartinDr Tracy Martin
Research Fellow
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law

Guy Preston


  • Meath, C., Karlovšek, J., Navarrete, C., Eales, M., & Hastings, P. (2022). Co-designing a multi-level platform for industry level transition to circular economy principles: A case study of the infrastructure CoLab. Journal of Cleaner Production, 131080.
    doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.131080


Recognition for the Infrastructure CoLab

The Infrastructure CoLab received a Commendation for the prestigious UQ Innovative Partnerships Award in 2021, which is part of the UQ Research and Innovation Awards for Excellence. The award recognised the innovative nature and valuable contribution of the collaboration between staff from The University of Queensland, Business Models Inc. and the Infrastructure Sustainability Council.

The Infrastructure CoLab receiving a Commendation for the UQ Innovative Partnerships Award, 2021
The Infrastructure CoLab receiving a Commendation for the UQ Innovative Partnerships Award, 2021


If you’re an academic or researcher wanting to get involved contact the SIRH Team at

Companies wanting to join the next round of the Infrastructure CoLab should contact