Boosting science partnerships in the Asia-Pacific

Tackling serious diseases, like tuberculosis and malaria, will be the focus of funding from the Coalition Government for Australian-led research projects in the Asia-Pacific region.

Fourteen global partnerships will share in $1.25 million to tackle big health, environmental and resources challenges.

The funding is through the second round of the Regional Collaborations Programme, which will build stronger linkages in the Asia-Pacific by removing barriers to collaboration between researchers and businesses.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the program was strengthening Australia’s outreach and reputation in the region for its exceptional science and research capabilities.

“This funding will have a real impact on Australians and our neighbouring countries through partnerships that grow institutional links and support greater researcher mobility across the Asia-Pacific region,” Minister Andrews said.

“In addition to addressing regional challenges, these grants will bolster existing relationships between Australian organisations and their regional partners, ensuring that these networks can endure to bring economic growth and prosperity.

“The Liberal National Government was the architect of the Regional Collaborations Programme and since its inception in 2016 has invested $2.23 million.”

The funded projects in the second round include:

  • The Burnet Institute will use Australian designed health systems software to build antimicrobial resistance surveillance systems in Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
  • The Kirby Institute will partner with the USA, China, Canada, Bangladesh, Nepal and the UK to bring together researchers with an interest in developing a vaccine against Hepatitis C.
  • Asbestos Diseases Research Foundation will partner with New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Fiji, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines to develop preventative technologies for asbestos-related diseases.
  • Menzies School of Health Research will partner with Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal to reduce the risk of P.vivax-type malaria after falciparum-type malaria infections in co-endemic areas.
  • Macquarie University in partnership with India, Indonesia and the Netherlands will develop a compact and portable electrochemical gas sensor array to spot explosives.
  • The CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere Business Unit will use digital earth observation technology to monitor coastal water quality with partners in Singapore and Malaysia.
  • Curtin University will partner with research organisations in Japan and Vietnam to develop a natural-based solvent to assist in the recycling of lithium ion batteries.
  • Griffith University will partner with New Zealand and the USA to understand changes in diet, drinking water and climate by examining the teeth of ancient humans and orangutans.
  • Deakin University will partner with Malaysia and Singapore on a project that simulates urban flooding patterns by using spatially distributed rainfall data derived from a weather radar.

Funded workshops include:

  • The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) will host a workshop in partnership with Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia to understand and effectively manage nutrient cycling in tropical waters.
  • Griffith University will host a workshop in partnership with China, Singapore and the USA on what nanotechnology can offer sustainable and productive farming practices.
  • The Burnet Institute will host a workshop in partnership with Singapore and Indonesia on Eliminating Tuberculosis under the Zero Tuberculosis Initiative.
  • Western Sydney University will host a workshop with South-East Asian partners to empower agricultural researchers to boost their capability in the field of genomics to develop highly productive and resilient crops.
  • Monash University will host a workshop in partnership with Australia, Vietnam, India and the UK on improving the capacity to deliver evidence-based care for acute stroke using educational workshops in developing countries.

“The Liberal National Government recognises the contribution science plays in growing Australia’s economy and creating more jobs in the region, that’s why we’ve invested an additional $2.4 billion to grow our science, research and technology capabilities in the 2018-19 Budget,” Minister Andrews said.

The Coalition has invested $1.5 billion more into Australia’s science agencies compared to when Labor was last in government. This includes $53 million more for AIMS, $97 million more for CSIRO and $126 million more for ANSTO.

This forms part of our plan to continue growing Australia’s economy and help create a further 1.25 million jobs over the next five years.

For more information on the Regional Collaborations Programme and latest funding recipients, visit the Australian Academy of Science website -

Media contact: Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070