The Abacus

ACBC welcomes new funding for Australia China joint research centres

By: ACBC National

The Australia China Business Council (ACBC) has enthusiastically welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement that they will provide $4.7 million in research grants for five new Australia-China joint university research centres.  This funding will be matched by the Chinese Government.

ACBC has long called for greater engagement and more partnerships between researchers in Australia and China.  Australia currently makes up less than 2 per cent of global research.  China, on the other hand, produces 20 per cent of the world’s research output.  This number will continue to climb: according to a recent government report, China’s total R&D spend rose 12.3 per cent last year to reach a record 1.76 trillion yuan (AUD$367 billion).

This steadily increasing R&D expenditure is reflected in the growing number of Chinese patents filed.  As Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), said recently:  ‘In just a few decades, China has constructed an IP system, encouraged homegrown innovation, joined the ranks of the world’s IP leaders—and is now driving worldwide growth in IP filings.’  China’s IP office received the highest number of patent applications in 2017, a record total of 1.38 million—an increase of 14.2 per cent on the previous year.

Given all this, it is very encouraging to hear Australia’s Industry, Science and Technology Minister, Karen Andrews, recognise China as ‘an important collaborative partner for Australia in science and research.’  Some of the projects to be conducted at the joint research centres include:

  • A low-cost, portable device to identify markers of genetic disorders, infections and cancers;
  • New sustainable energy technologies, including low-cost flexible solar cells and infra-red technology;
  • New medical sensing devices; and  
  • Wind-and-wave power generation technologies.

ACBC looks forward to seeing the results of this research—one of which will be to forge closer research links between Australia and China, and new opportunities for business collaboration in the future.

You can read more about the announcement here.



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