India, Australia collaborate for scientific research

New Delhi: Top scientists in India and Australia will receive funding for cutting-edge research in fields of environment science, materials science, stem cells and vaccines as part of a joint multi-million programme, the Australian envoy to India said Tuesday.

The Australian and Indian governments will support 13 new collaborative projects and seven joint workshops through the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.

“This programme brings together leading scientists in both countries for truly world-class research. This is Australia’s largest science fund with any country and one of India’s largest sources of support for international science,” said Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese.

“This commitment is a measure of our strong belief in the quality and future of the science relationship, which we see as an important element underpinning the overall Strategic Partnership,” he said.

From a total Australian commitment to the fund of Australian $64 million (Rs.366 crore), the Australian government has committed $4.37 million (Rs.23 crore) to these new projects and workshops. The Indian government will fund the Indian teams’ participation.

Participating institutions in India include Banaras Hindu University, the National Chemical Laboratories, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai, IIT Roorkee, Immunology Laboratory Institute of Microbial Technology at Chandigarh, and the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.

The partner institutions in Australia include the University of New South Wales, Melbourne University, Southern Cross University, Australian National University, Queensland University of Technology, CSIRO and Deakin University.

The research to be supported includes development of new batteries for electric vehicles, developing an approach for recycling hazardous e-waste to reduce harmful emissions, and developing a process to manage waste water discharged from ethanol distilleries among other.

Other projects supported by the fund are in fields including renewable energy, marine and earth sciences, food and water security, biomedical devices and implants, and bioenergy.