New Federal Government grants are available to help Australian researchers and businesses work with counterparts in the Asia Pacific to make a difference in the region, Ross Vasta Member for Bonner said today.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews launched the second round of the Regional Collaborations Programme in Singapore, which will provide over $1.5 million in new grants for science-based projects and workshops.

The grants offer Australian businesses and researchers opportunities to find solutions to health, environmental and economic challenges in the rapidly developing Asia Pacific region.

The projects will focus on shared challenges and create new opportunities in Australia and across the region – and the first round of funding saw Australians work with their Asia Pacific counterparts on everything from advanced manufacturing to a cure for Hepatitis B.

The first funding round provided five research projects with a total of just under $900,000. Nearly $2.5 million of matched funds by project partners was invested in the projects, close to a 3:1 return.

Ross Vasta said the program had great potential benefits. “A successful grant application is a boon not only for the successful applicants but for the local community of Bonner.”

“My electorate has an innovative business culture and I encourage researchers and companies to look closely at these grants and consider making an application,” Mr Vasta said.

The existing projects centre on health, advanced manufacturing and environmental change. Researchers from Australian institutions joined partners from countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Singapore and Japan in the projects.

The grants are administered by the Australian Academy of Science and are part of the Coalition Government’s Global Innovation Strategy, helping to create new jobs and scientific opportunities for Australians.

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