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Monash researchers awarded funding to strengthen Australia-China science links14 January 2009
Monash researchers collaborating with scientists from Shandong University and Wuhan University of Technology in China have been awarded $250,000 from the Australian government to assist with two scientific research projects.
Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research awarded the funding to strengthen Australia’s national research effort and boost the nation’s innovation performance.
Professor Edwina Cornish, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) said that she was proud that Monash was one of twelve Australian universities to attract funding.
"International collaboration in the name of research literally opens up a whole new world of opportunities for Monash researchers," she said.
"By collaborating with China, Monash researchers are able to utilise global networks, technologies and infrastructure leading to greater research outcomes and solutions."
One project lead by Dr Jian Li, aims to develop novel antibiotics against "superbugs," multi-drug resistant bacterial infections through the use of myxobacteria.
As a special class of soil bacteria, myxobacteria is becoming one the world’s best producers of novel antibiotics. This collaboration with Shandong University will provide Dr Li and his team access to the largest myxobacterial bank in Asia.
The other successfully funded project, lead by Professor Paul Webley, examines the synthesis, characterisation and performance testing of advanced nanomaterials based on carbon for application to new energy related technologies.
Specifically, the researchers expect that in the future, cars and truck will be powered by electric power provided either by batteries and supercapacitors or by fuel cells. Currently, materials that are able to store electricity or store hydrogen for use in fuel cells can only power cars for up to 100kms before needing to recharge. Professor Webley and his team aim to develop improved materials to store enough electricity (or hydrogen to generate the electricity) for a range of up to 500km - similar to current petrol engine cars.
The materials proposed in this project will be developed at Monash University and tested at Wuhan University of Technology. This project has the potential to reduce the world’s reliance on petroleum and diesel for transport and reduce carbon emissions.
"On behalf of Monash University, I would like to congratulate the researchers involved in these research collaborations with China," said Professor Cornish.
"I’m confident that fostering international relationships such as these will pave the way for even stronger global research links for Monash."
For further information please contact Karen Sutherland, Research Communications Manager, +61 3 9903 4844, mobile: 0431 959 510, email: Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org .au.