The federal government has awarded $47.1 million in funding to 22 research and development projects as a part of its Cooperative Research Centre Projects program.
Funding from the government program is supplemented in cash or in kind by industry partners and round 11 funding announced by Christian Porter, the minister for industry, science, and technology, will also receive an additional $86 million in cash or in kind from 95 industry partners.
Projects being funded in this round include the commencement of clinical trials for a bionic prosthesis intended to improve the ability of those with visual impairment to live more independently, a project for smart orthotics to reduce diabetes related amputations, development of an efficient hydrogen storage system to enable the uptake of hydrogen as a zero carbon fuel, and funding for long term brain monitoring electrodes to help patients undergoing diagnosis for epilepsy.
Porter said the projects receiving funding this round are examples of the benefits for society that partnerships between industry and research bodies can achieve.
“These projects will address challenges in our National Manufacturing Priority areas and lead to tangible outcomes that will improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries, while growing the economy and creating new jobs,” he said.
“CRC-Ps also help strengthen links between research organisations and industry, and support Australian businesses to develop new technologies, products, processes and services for global supply chains.
“Funded projects under the latest round involve 58 Australian companies, including 42 small and medium businesses, and 34 research organisations across the country.”
Senator Bridget McKenzie, the minister for regionalisation, regional communications, and regional education, said there were projects in this round that would assist regional Australia.
“The Australian government is committed to supporting our regions to help them grow and prosper and drive economic growth, which is exactly what these CRC-Ps will achieve,” McKenzie said.
“Innovation is critical to regional and remote Australian communities, and these projects will boost research and development activities in regional areas and spark economic growth and job creation locally, and contribute to global competitiveness.”
One of the regional projects highlighted as a boon for regions by McKenzie is based out in Gippsland, Victoria and involves the establishment of a research centre for the manufacturing of energetic materials to be used in making a rocket fuel additive for space launch.
A second regional project involves the establishment of a pilot-scale fermentation facility in Goulburn, New South Wales to establish a lipid fermentation process that could be used for the local manufacture of foods.
This article was first published by The Mandarin.