Gov’t invests $51M in industry-science collaboration for nat’l advancement

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Image credit: R_Yosha/stock.adobe.com

The Australian Government has pledged $51 million to bolster partnerships between industry and researchers aimed at spearheading projects that could revolutionise various sectors and spur job creation.

Under Round 15 of the Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P), Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic unveiled the funding allocation, emphasising its focus on supporting innovative ventures with the potential for substantial commercial impact while addressing pressing societal and economic issues.

The 21 grants announced will fuel industry-led initiatives targeting a diverse array of challenges, ranging from expedited diagnosis of life-threatening infections to pioneering environmental recycling techniques.

EQ Plastics Pty Ltd is set to receive $3 million to advance its innovative upcycling system, aimed at transforming plastic and tyre waste into high-value graphene.

According to the government, this material holds significant promise for applications in the electronics and renewable energy sectors.

Optiscan Imaging Ltd has also been awarded $3 million to continue its work on a miniature digital probe. This device enables clinicians to conduct real-time endomicroscopy examinations, facilitating immediate medical intervention upon detection of abnormalities.

Additionally, NEXSEN BioTech is slated to receive $3 million to enhance its biosensor device, designed for the rapid and precise diagnosis of Group B Streptococcus bacteria.

This development holds the potential to safeguard newborns and expecting mothers from serious complications associated with the infection.

These projects collectively involve 91 partners across Australia, including 60 Australian industry entities, of which 49 are small or medium enterprises. Additionally, 26 Australian research organisations are contributing their expertise to these collaborative efforts.

Minister Husic emphasised the significance of fostering collaboration between science and industry, stating that “great ideas lead to great products, which in turn generate great jobs.”

He highlighted the government’s commitment to supporting this collaboration through the allocation of $51 million, aimed at both nurturing innovative ideas and addressing significant challenges, such as environmental sustainability and enhancing maternal healthcare.

“These are practical benefits that help our whole community, creating new business opportunities and secure, well-paid jobs in the process,” the minister concluded.

The CRC Program, which has been active for over 30 years, has seen the Australian Government invest more than $5.8 billion to establish 238 CRCs and 253 CRC Projects.

This investment has been further leveraged by an additional $17.4 billion in cash and in-kind contributions from collaborating partners representing industry, research, government, and community organisations.

For a comprehensive list of Round 15 recipients, visit this website.