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Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF)–Joint Research Centres (JRCs) are virtual centres that link Australian and Chinese research institutions conducting research-related activities. These activities are based on priority areas agreed between the Australian and Chinese Governments.

The ACSRF-JRCs activities include:

  • joint research programs with Chinese partners
  • conferences, workshops and symposia
  • exchanging and seconding personnel between Australia and China
  • new research-related information sharing and communication initiatives

Funding and eligibility

The fund provides grants of up to $1 million. The maximum grant period is 3 years.

Applicants must:

  • demonstrate a clear path to how research outcomes will be used
  • have an Australian industry or other end-user partner in addition to a Chinese partner

Find out if you are eligible for ACSRF-JRC funding on business.gov.au.

Current projects

The government invested $5.95 million in December 2015 for Round 2 of the ACSRF—JRCs. The projects are addressing research priorities and challenges in these sectors:

  • marine science
  • food and agribusiness
  • mining equipment technology and services

Australia-China Joint Research Centre for Maritime Engineering

Marine science and maritime engineering require new and modern means to address meteorology and oceanography problems. These include:

  • the rapid advance of ocean industry activity into deep waters and extended offshore distances
  • novel technological approaches such as large floating facilities
  • venturing into harsh environments ranging from tropical cyclones to the Arctic

The centre is developing sophisticated modelling tools to predict ocean and wave climatology, extremes and trends. This will allow offshore industries to prepare and protect their ocean assets.

Economic, environmental and social benefits include:

  • improved maritime industry standards and transport operations
  • reduced maritime accidents
  • better information for search and rescue missions and recreational users

Partners

  • Lead Australian partner: University of Melbourne
  • Lead Chinese partner: First Institute of Oceanography of the State Oceanic Administrations

Other partners:

  • MetOcean Solutions Ltd 
  • Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology 
  • Woodside Petroleum Ltd

Australia-China Joint Research Centre in Future Dairy Manufacturing

China is an important market for the Australian dairy industry. There are opportunities for the industry to benefit from:  

  • two-way knowledge exchange
  • access to expertise
  • access new and emerging markets for dairy products

The centre will provide the dairy industry with manufacturing process efficiencies and new high-value products. This activity will develop a strong link between Australia and China’s large distribution network.

Economic, environmental and social benefits include:

  • more efficient dairy manufacturing processes to produce quality products that command premium prices
  • the potential to link Australian dairy manufacturers with the largest supply and distribution chain in China
  • improved energy efficiency for energy-intensive unit operations in dairy processing
  • more efficient cleaning strategies to reduce waste
  • the dairy industry attracts, trains, and retains skilled professionals to ensure an agile and innovative workforce, particularly in rural areas

Partners

  • Lead Australian partner: Monash University
  • Lead Chinese partner: Soochow University

Other partners:

  • Bega Cheese Limited 
  • China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) 
  • Fonterra Australia Pty Ltd 
  • Geoffrey Gardiner Dairy Foundation Limited 
  • Mondelez International 
  • Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co. Limited 
  • The University of Queensland

Australia-China Joint Research Centre of Grains for Health

Grains are a valuable output of Australia’s agricultural sector. The Grains for Health centre will develop cereal grains with health-promoting properties. This will minimise non-communicable diseases and maximise nutritional value for the benefit of both Australian and Chinese populations.

The centre incorporates new and existing scientific knowledge that brings together:

  • agricultural scientists
  • nutrition scientists
  • agribusiness specialists
  • nutrition policy makers

This work will provide pathways to dietary change with a high likelihood of improving the health outcomes of Australian and Chinese populations.

Economic, environmental and social benefits:

  • grains and products that sustain healthy human development to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases
  • effective pathways to market for grain products that deliver health benefits

Partners

  • Lead Australian partner: The University of Adelaide
  • Lead Chinese partner: Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Other partners:

  • Australian Grain Technologies Pty Ltd 
  • Bright Rice Group Ltd 
  • George Weston Foods 
  • Graincorp Limited 
  • Limagrain Céréales 
  • Jiangsu Tianfeng Seed Industry Co. Ltd.

Australia-China Joint Research Centre of Healthy Soils for Sustainable Food Production and Environmental Quality

Soil is integral to the food, fibre and fresh water supply chain. Australian farmers must effectively manage their soil to meet growing national and global demand and continue as net exporters. A pressing challenge for China is to feed the rapidly growing population with clean, safe food.

The Healthy Soils centre focuses on soil resilience to threats such as drought, degradation and climate variability. The aim is to achieve sustainable food production while minimising harmful impacts on society and the environment.

Economic, environmental and social benefits include:

  • a reduced footprint of agriculture production systems by:
    • retaining nutrients in food
    • reducing waste
    • developing climate resilient systems
    • remediating soils that have existing contaminant burdens 
  • new technologies and management practices to improve farming productivity and sustainability within Australia and China.

Partners

  • Lead Australian partner: The University of Melbourne
  • Lead Chinese partner: Chinese Agricultural University

Other partners:

  • Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences 
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences 
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
  • Incitec Pivot Limited 
  • Nanjing Agricultural University 
  • The University of New England 
  • University of Western Australia 
  • Xinyangfeng Fertilizer Co Ltd

Australia-China Joint Research Centre for In-Line Chemical and Mineral Sensing for Sustainable Mineral Processing

The future sustainability of the mining industry requires that we be smarter in our processing of minerals. The ore deposits that host the valuable minerals are becoming more difficult to process, and this results in increased energy, water, and chemical use.

The centre’s work will enable miners to get more value for less effort, cost, and environmental impact. This is through the use of novel sensors that will show the mineral and chemical content at all stages of an extraction process.

Economic, environmental and social benefits include:

  • intellectual property with commercial value in the form of sensor devices for use in the industry partner’s pulp chemistry monitor
  • potential to use more recycled process water in flotation operations

Partners

  • Lead Australian partner: University of South Australia
  • Lead Chinese partner: Central South University

Other partners:

  • Magotteaux Australia Pty Ltd
  • University of Tasmania

Sino-Australian Joint Research Centre for Healthy Coasts

Managing multi-use coastal zones is a challenge for both China and Australia. Industrialisation, tourism, agriculture and aquaculture activity puts pressure on coastal systems. While both countries have invested in coastal observing and monitoring programs, there is a need to bridge the gap between science and management actions.

The centre is:

  • developing novel approaches to integrate monitoring and models
  • using innovative science and technology to build knowledge and research capability
  • working on practical management solutions for coastal regions

Economic, environmental and social benefits include:

  • sustainable use and protection of Australia’s valuable marine assets and resources boosts the economy, international competitiveness and productivity
  • measurable economic benefits using key performance indicators such as employment, net commercial returns or investment within the marine aquaculture and tourism sectors
  • preservation and enjoyment of Australia's marine resources
  • fulfilling Australia's social obligation to protect the Great Barrier Reef

Partners

  • Lead Australian partner: Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Lead Chinese partner: Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Science

Other partners:

  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Case studies

Read about how the ACSRF helped Australian and Chinese researchers in leading edge scientific research projects.

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See also

Last updated: 21 November 2018

Content ID: 46281