Multi-million investment for new joint research centres to strengthen innovation with China

The Federal Government has announced a multi-million dollar investment with China that aims to address trans-national challenges in the marine science, food and agribusiness, and mining sectors.

Under a renewed three year Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF), Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne said the grants had helped bridge research links between the two countries.

“This will build Australia’s research capacity, forge strategic alliances and increase commercialisation and application of research outcomes, boosting innovation and international competitiveness,” Pyne said.

Some of the Joint Research Centres grant winners include the Universities of Adelaide, Melbourne, Chinese Agricultural and Shanghai Jiao Tong.

Joint Research Centres will also receive co-investment from the Chinese government through the partnering Chinese institution.

Eight Chinese companies have committed $30 million to support Australian research into biotechnology, energy and environmental engineering. It is hoped the investment will build to $100 million, which would fund the new precinct by 2025. Torch Industry partners will set up incubator areas at UNSW’s Kensington campus, close to researchers and student entrepreneurs in the interim.

China’s 150 Torch precincts generate 7 per cent of GDP. Independent economic modelling by Deloitte Access Economics estimated the new Torch Innovation Precinct at UNSW would add more than $1 billion to Australia’s GDP in the first 10 years alone.

China’s growth has threatened Australia’s manufacturing industries. The glut of steel has been felt in both Australia and Britain in recent weeks, with steelmaker Arrium placed into voluntary administration, threatening more than 5000 Australian jobs. Mr Turnbull has ruled out government intervention or subsidies. In south Wales, Indian giant Tata Steel has put its Port Talbot plant up for sale, forcing the Conservative government to contemplate protectionist measures.

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