Nine recipients of Australia-India Council grant announced to foster collaboration

A space start-up exchange, research identifying drought-resilient chickpeas, and a disability‐inclusive virtual healthcare pilot are among nine successful recipients.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong has released the list of 2021-22 Australia-India Council (AIC) grant recipients.

In her statement, Wong said:

“The grants program is key to fostering understanding and encouraging collaboration between our two countries.”

There are nine successful projects that will receive a share of $935,000 of funding. These include a space start-up exchange, research identifying drought-resilient chickpeas, and a disability‐inclusive virtual healthcare pilot among others.

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Image source: The University of Newcastle project team members, Dr Jessica Siva (Left), Associate Professor Thayaparan Gajendran (Middle), Dr Kim Maund (Right), School of Architecture and Built Environment precinct, University of Newcastle, 16/05/22. Credit: University of Newcastle media team.

University of Newcastle project ($49,500.00 incl GST) aims to foster an Australian-Indian zero-carbon building construction network. This project will help deliver three dialogues between academia, government, and industry to develop an action roadmap toward achieving zero-carbon buildings.

Image source: James Makinson (Twitter)

The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University’s investigation ($66,000 incl GST) into mango cultivars and their pollinators will inform industry recommendations to both India and Australia to respond to the impacts of climate change.

Image source: Members of the University of South Australia’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC).

The University of South Australia’s (UniSA) space start-up exchange and trade visit ($49,500.00 incl GST) aims to connect deep technology space companies and their respective research, industry, and investment network.

The University of Western Australia’s (UWA) mapping of fish biomass on the continental shelves of India and Australia ($176,000.00 incl GST) aims to generate data on blue carbon storage capacity. The project will provide key information for India’s fisheries management to mitigate climate change and expand its marine conservation areas under its commitment to protect 30% of national waters by 2030.

Image source: Chickpea growing in a greenhouse at Flinders University, Adelaide. Credit: Ms Tania Bawden, Media Advisor, Office of Communication, Marketing and Engagement, Flinders University.

Flinders University’s collaboration with Murdoch University and the International Crops Research Institute ($176,000.00 incl GST) for the Semi-Arid Tropics will identify high-performing chickpea variants with low water and nitrogen requirements for increased drought tolerance and reduced fertiliser use.

The Nossal Institute’s “Virtu-Care” ($176,000.00 incl GST) will produce a telehealth care model that specifically meets the health and rehabilitation needs of people with disability.

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Image source: Dipen Rughani and Natasha Jha Bhaskar (Twitter)

Newland Global Group’s project ($88,000 incl GST) aims to address the knowledge gap that currently persists in both markets on existing business successes.

Austmine Limited’s Australia-India Mining Innovation Program (AIMIP) will facilitate collaboration between Indian mining companies and Australian METS companies ($55,000.00 incl GST) to solve critical technology challenges in relation to increasing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) expectations.

Image source: AI for Digital Pathology: Mitigating Global Health Inequalities Based on A Novel Computational Framework for Detecting Malaria in Rural Communities. Credit: Girija Chetty.

University of Canberra’s project ($99,000.00 incl GST) aims to develop an innovative cyber-critical technology framework for early malaria pathogen detection. The proposed translational technology solution can be useful for other diseases and regions globally.

The announcement comes as India is celebrating its 75th year of independence. AIC, which too is celebrating its 30th year of formation, has helped advance Australia’s foreign policy and trade interests – strengthening the people-to-people and institutional bonds between Australia and India.