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Industry-focussed PhDs announced in $8 million funding round

Manufacturing News

Support worth $8 million has been announced for 40 research projects through Round 2 of the National Industry PhD Program, addressing industry problems at companies including Samsara Eco, Great Wrap and Seeley International.

“The challenges our country faces can only be solved when we work together, the National Industry PhD program is an important part of our government’s efforts to see Australian research translated into real and tangible benefits for our nation,” said federal assistant education minister Anthony Chisholm in a statement on Thursday.

“It’s also incredibly encouraging to see 14 of these research projects located in regional or rural locations, which makes up 35 per cent of the ventures selected.”

Among the funded projects are: 

  • A collaboration between Monash University and sustainable stretch wrap company Great Wrap, aiming “to transform Australian potato waste into compostable stretch wrap using biopolymers generated by waste-consuming bacteria”;
  • Another between The Australian National University and recycling technology company Samsara Eco, aiming “to produce more efficient plastic-degrading enzymes” which “will potentially simplify plastic recycling, benefiting the people and environment of Australia”; and
  • A project linking Flinders University air HVAC business Seeley International, which will “investigate the effect of evaporative cooling systems on indoor microbial air quality” with an aim “to determine the potential for evaporative cooling systems to reduce the spread of airborne infectious disease.”

A full list of PhD programs funded through the round is available here.  

The National Industry PhD program was introduced by the previous federal government as part of its efforts to lift the commercial returns from publicly-funded research. It aims to produce 1,800 Industry PhDs over 10 years. 

Applications under round three of the program are expected to open early next year, according to the announcement from Chisholm.

Picture: credit Samsara

Further reading

Wearable diagnostics, eco-concrete, cutting tool digital twins among funded industry PhDs

Promised more industry focused PhDs, but the reality is different – by Dr John Howard

New Industry 4.0 report says  ‘call to action’ needed for Australian manufacturers

Great Wrap launches compostable catering wrap

Samsara’s plastic eating enzymes get a new laboratory

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