Top scientists will benefit from a multi-million dollar program that could lead to better vaccines, more temperature tolerant crops, healthier foods and greater protection for our marine systems.
Eighteen collaborative projects involving Australian and Indian scientists have been awarded AU$5 million under the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund, with matching funding provided by the Government of India.
The fund is a joint initiative of the Australian and Indian governments. It is Australia's largest bilateral research fund, providing AU$65 million over eight years.
Australian Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr said "India is a strong research nation in its own right and a rising scientific power. Both countries have much to gain from collaboration in science and technology."
"This funding will enable leading Australian and Indian scientists to combine their unique strengths and tackle big issues facing communities in Australia and India - such as growing healthy crops and protecting precious groundwater environments."
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.
Projects to be supported under Round 5 of the fund include:
development of a novel class of anti-cancer agents targeting the immune system;
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 dvancing our ability to predict plant distributions under changed climates.
ther projects supported by the fund are in nanotechnology, marine and earth sciences, biomedical devices and implants, and stem cells.