Making a difference in the Asia Pacific

New grants will help Australian researchers and businesses work with counterparts in the Asia Pacific region on science projects, creating new opportunities and solutions to health, environmental and economic challenges.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews launched the second round of the Regional Collaborations Programme in Singapore, which will provide over $1.5 million in new grants for science-based projects and workshops.

“The grants offer Australian businesses and researchers opportunities to forge stronger connections with partners from the rapidly developing Asia Pacific region,” Minister Andrews said. 

“These grants offer successful applicants the chance to open up lucrative business opportunities and make a valuable contribution to supporting science for public benefit.

“The projects will focus on shared challenges and create new opportunities in Australia and across the region – and the first round of funding saw Australians work with their Asia Pacific counterparts on everything from advanced manufacturing to a cure for Hepatitis B.”

The first funding round provided five research projects with a total of just under $900,000. Nearly $2.5 million of matched funds by project partners was invested in the projects, close to a 3:1 return.

The existing projects centre on health, advanced manufacturing and environmental change. Researchers from Australian institutions joined partners from countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Singapore and Japan in the projects.

The projects involve:

  • An examination of the mechanisms leading to immunity and resistance to malaria and dengue fever
  • The establishment of an international coalition to support the search for an affordable and effective cure for Hepatitis B
  • The use of sustainable materials and prefabricated systems to create resilient affordable housing
  • The use of remote sensing technologies to develop regional monitoring of climate change impacts  
  • An advanced manufacturing venture designed to overcome barriers to the mass production of biomedical devices

The grants are administered by the Australian Academy of Science and are part of the Coalition Government's Global Innovation Strategy, helping to create new jobs and scientific opportunities for Australians. 

The first round of funding also made a contribution to the meeting of APEC’s Chief Science Advisors and Equivalents (CSAE) group, to be held in October 2018 in Brisbane. CSAE promotes the use of scientific evidence in governmental policy formation and formulation.

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Media contact: Minister Andrews' office 6277 7070