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Aus-Ind collaborations in science: $3.8m AISRF grant

These initiatives span critical areas such as nanomaterials, e-waste, artificial intelligence, and the development of new medicines to combat superbugs.

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The Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) has unveiled a new wave of collaborative research projects, further solidifying the scientific alliance between Australia and India. Round 15 of the AISRF is set to fund five innovative projects with a combined grant of $3.8 million. These initiatives span critical areas such as nanomaterials, e-waste, artificial intelligence, and the development of new medicines to combat superbugs.

The latest funding round will support groundbreaking work including:

AI-Driven Soil Health Monitoring: Researchers will create an artificial intelligence platform aimed at monitoring and preventing soil degradation in vulnerable regions.

Sustainable E-Waste Recycling: A new technology will be developed to enhance the recycling process of metals from discarded mobile devices, promoting sustainability.

Nanomaterials for Water Remediation: This project will focus on designing affordable and scalable nanomaterials that use solar-thermal energy to remediate water.

Antimicrobials Against Drug-Resistant Infections: Scientists will utilize components of the immune system to guide the creation of new antimicrobials for treating drug-resistant infections.

Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics: Improved diagnostic tools for bacterial infections and novel therapeutic treatments will be developed to address these critical health challenges.

Australian institutions involved in these projects include the Australian National University, Monash University, the University of Adelaide, the University of Queensland, and the University of Sydney. Their Indian counterparts are the Indian Institute of Science, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, AbGenics, and Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

Reflecting on the enduring partnership, Ed Husic, Australia’s Minister for Industry and Science, emphasised the significance of international collaboration in addressing global challenges. “The world isn’t short of complex issues, with collaboration between nations playing an essential role in delivering scientific breakthroughs that will make a difference,” Husic remarked.

He highlighted the AISRF’s pivotal role in mobilising Australia’s top researchers to tackle some of the world’s pressing problems, from superbugs to environmental sustainability. “The Australia-India Strategic Research Fund has delivered more than 360 collaborative research projects in the past 18 years, ensuring our nation’s universities and research institutions have remained at the forefront of global research initiatives,” he added.

Dr. Jitendra Singh, India’s Minister for Science and Technology, echoed these sentiments, praising the partnership’s potential to drive significant scientific and technological advancements. “I feel collaboration is crucial in this modern era to address critical global challenges and in fostering sustainable development. The AISRF is a testament to the enduring partnership between India and Australia,” Dr. Singh stated.

He expressed confidence that the collaborative projects would yield substantial breakthroughs and bolster a vibrant innovation ecosystem. “While reinforcing our commitment to build a vibrant innovation ecosystem with Australia, I congratulate all the researchers involved with these projects for a prosperous and sustainable future,” Dr. Singh concluded.

Since inception in 2006, the AISRF grants have seen over $100 million in collaborative projects, fostering robust scientific cooperation between the two nations.

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