Iatia teams with Sydney Uni in new imaging facility

By Iain Scott
Friday, 02 August, 2002

Melbourne high-tech imaging specialist Iatia has established a computer-based imaging facility at the University of Sydney's Key Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis.

The new facility will be developed as a centre of excellence for quantitative phase microscopy, based on Iatia's QPm (optical phase) and QPe (electron phase) microscopy technologies.

At the facility's launch yesterday, Iatia chairman Jim Short said the techniques were developed by Iatia from an algorithm invented by the University of Melbourne's Prof Keith Nugent. A similar facility has been established at the University of Melbourne.

Short said Iatia, which listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in April and has already won R&D award kudos in the US, hoped to make the technology a household word.

The key centre's Prof Guy Cox, who will manage the new facility, said researchers were particularly interested in the new possibilities afforded by Iatia's QPe technology for electron microscopy.

QPe works with established x-ray analytical techniques and has the potential to improve the order of magnitude of accuracy of analyses by the transmission electron microscope.

Short said the facility demonstrated how the government, education and private sectors could work together. "I'd call it a win-win-win situation," he said.

Science Minister Peter McGauran, who cut the ribbon at the new facility, said collaboration was key to the success of commercialisation plans in all three sectors. "Our universities perform a significant share of research and development activity, and undertake about two thirds of Australia's research activity," he said.

"Sometimes we set ambitious and perhaps unrealistic targets for universities and public research institutions," he said, but collaborations between the public and private sectors were essential for Australia's social, health, cultural and economic future.

"There's more realisation by the government and the community of the importance of science and engineering than ever before."

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