India, Australia to co-fund research projects

New Delhi: India and Australia will co-fund 18 collaborative projects under a multi-million dollar programme that could lead to better vaccines, more temperature tolerant crops and healthier food, the Australian High Commission said.

A fund of five million Australian dollars has been granted to joint scientific ventures between India and Australia, an official statement said.

A matching fund will be provided by India for the project.

“This funding will enable leading Australian and Indian scientists to combine their strengths and tackle big issues facing communities in Australia and India – such as growing healthy crops and protecting precious groundwater environments,” Australian Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr said.

Grants have been awarded to a total of 12 different Australian universities and research institutions, including James Cook University, CSIRO, the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, the Australian National University, Melbourne University, the University of Western Australia and the University of Queensland.

Grants have also been awarded to a total of 14 Indian collaborating partner institutions including the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, the Indian Institute of Science – Bangalore, Raman Research Institute and the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.

The key projects will include development of new anti-cancer agents, design of malaria vaccines, developing methods for the production of omega-3 concentrates for functional foods, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, improving high-temperature tolerance in crop plants and predicting plant distributions under changed climates.

Other projects supported by the fund are in nanotechnology, marine and earth sciences, biomedical devices and implants, and stem cells. (IANS)