Funding for plant energy biology and analytical separation technologies


Tuesday, 14 January, 2014

A Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology at the University of Western Australia received a $26 million grant in the ARC’s 2014 Centre of Excellence funding round.

The funding, which will extend until 2020, will support the research and development of new approaches in agriculture to increase the efficiency of energy conversion and use by plants. The aim of the work will be to generate plants that are more tolerant to environmental challenges and more efficient at using energy resources, such as resources from soils that are decreasing in area and fertility.

“The plant energy system is the largest set of biochemical reactions on earth. We need it to build more food, feed, fibre and fuel. To do that we need to understand how to make it more energy efficient in harsh environments,” said Centre Director Professor Harvey Millar.

The Centre of Excellence will be further supported by $14 million pledged from Agilent Technologies, Limagrain, Photon Systems Instruments, the Grain Research and Development Corporation, and its four university partners UWA, the Australian National University, The University of Adelaide and La Trobe University.

Another successful application, by the University of Tasmania and Trajan Scientific and Medical (Trajan), received $2.1 million over three years to create an ARC Training Centre for Portable Analytical Separation Technologies.

Under the ARC’s Industrial Transformation Training Centres Scheme, the partnership between the University of Tasmania and Trajan will combine university-based research with industry knowledge to provide ongoing support for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) and postdoctoral training in separation technologies for end-user-focused research industries.

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