Friday, March 05, 2010

Awards to build up Australia-India science links

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith on March 4, 2010 announced the winners of the inaugural Australia-India Science and Technology Research Awards (AISTRA) that will help research placements for researchers from both countries. "The theme for the inaugural awards, 'Energy generation in a low-carbon future', reflects the importance India and Australia place on meeting our growing energy requirements in a sustainable manner," the Australian high commission said in a statement.

Akshat Tanksale from the University of Queensland will work with researchers at the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune on efforts to convert agricultural matter into carbon-neutral fuel additives. Ashish Garg of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, will travel to the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) to collaborate with researchers working on solar cell technology. Both scientists are expected to undertake their overseas placement in the first half of 2010.

The AISTRA programme was established in 2009 to promote greater collaboration between research communities. With an Australian contribution of A$50 million (Rs. 200 crore) over the next five years, matched by India, the AISRF is Australia's largest fund for bilateral collaboration with any country.

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