Australian and Indian Researchers Collaborate on Critical Global Issues with $3.8 Million AISRF Funding

"The Australia-India Strategic Research Fund has delivered more than 360 collaborative research projects in the past 18 years."

Australian and Indian researchers are again joining forces to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues through the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF).

Round 15 of the AISRF will back five innovative projects, spanning nanomaterials, e-waste, artificial intelligence, and the development of new medicines to combat superbugs, with a total funding of $3.8 million.

Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic, highlighted the importance of international collaboration in addressing complex global challenges.

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“The world isn’t short of complex issues, with collaboration between nations playing an essential role in delivering scientific breakthroughs that will make a difference,” said Minister Husic.

“From tougher strains of bacteria to e-waste and AI, our bilateral research partnership puts Australia’s brightest minds to creating better solutions for the world’s ongoing and emerging challenges.”

The collaborative projects include:

  • Developing an AI platform to monitor soil health and prevent degradation in vulnerable areas.
  • Creating sustainable technology to maximise the recycling of metals from discarded mobile devices.
  • Designing nanomaterials for affordable and scalable water remediation using solar-thermal energy.
  • Using components of the immune system to guide the design of new antimicrobials to treat drug-resistant infections.
  • Improving diagnostics to detect bacterial infections and developing novel therapeutics to treat them.

The Australian recipients of this round’s funding are the Australian National University, Monash University, the University of Adelaide, the University of Queensland, and the University of Sydney. Their Indian counterparts include the Indian Institute of Science, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, AbGenics, and Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

Dr. Jitendra Singh, India’s Minister for Science and Technology, underscored the role of collaboration in fostering sustainable development and addressing global challenges.

“I am sure the projects which emerged out of collaboration would result in significant scientific discoveries and technological advancements in areas of mutual interest.”

“I feel collaboration is crucial in this modern era to address critical global challenges and in fostering sustainable development. The AISRF is a testament to the enduring partnership between India and Australia,” Dr. Singh stated.

Established in 2006, the AISRF is Australia’s largest bilateral science cooperation initiative, supporting collaboration between Australia and India’s leading universities, research institutions, and scientific innovation end users. Over its 18-year history, the fund has delivered more than $100 million in grants, supporting 368 collaborative research projects, workshops, and fellowships, including 143 collaborative research projects over 14 rounds and 181 early and mid-career fellowships.

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Minister Husic, further emphasised the significance of the AISRF in keeping Australia at the forefront of global research initiatives.

“The Australia-India Strategic Research Fund has delivered more than 360 collaborative research projects in the past 18 years, ensuring our nation’s universities and research institutions have remained at the forefront of global research initiatives.”

Indian Minister Dr Singh also reinforced India’s commitment to building a vibrant innovation ecosystem with Australia.

“While reinforcing our commitment to build a vibrant innovation ecosystem with Australia, I congratulate all the researchers involved with these projects for a prosperous and sustainable future.”

This collaboration marks a significant step in addressing some of the most critical challenges facing the world today, showcasing the power of international cooperation in advancing scientific and technological innovation.

For more details on the AISRF and grant recipients, visit business.gov.au/grants-and-programs.

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