Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Top Australian and Indian scientists to collaborate

Top scientists in India and Australia will receive funding for cutting-edge research in fields that include environment science, materials science, stem cells and vaccines as part of a joint multi-crore rupee program. The Australian and Indian governments will support thirteen new collaborative projects and seven joint workshops through the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund. From a total Australian commitment to the Fund of AU$64 million, the Australian government has committed Rs. 23 crore (AU$ 4.37 million) to these new projects and workshops. The Government of India will fund the Indian teams' participation.

The Australian High Commissioner to India, Mr Peter Varghese, said, "This program 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. 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."

Participating institutions in India include, but are not limited to, Banaras Hindu University, National Chemical Laboratories, National Centre for Cell Science, IIT-Mumbai, IIT-Roorkee, Immunology Laboratory Institute of Microbial Technology Chandigarh, and 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 coming up with a process to manage wastewater discharged from ethanol distilleries.

The areas cover new tools for identification and purification of stem cells in the human liver, pancreas and oesophagus, identifying the molecular pathways in ovarian cancer as potential therapeutic targets to prolong survival time and improve the quality of life of women with this cancer and designing new vaccines against tuberculosis using a novel delivery system. Other projects supported by the fund are in the fields of renewable energy, marine and earth sciences, food and water security, biomedical devices and implants, and bio energy.

Source: The Economic Times (Online Edition), June 26, 2012
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