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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Housing and Public Works and Minister for Science and Innovation
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    $1.75 million boost to Queensland-China science collaborations

    Minister for Housing and Public Works and Minister for Science and Innovation
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Wednesday, November 18, 2015

    $1.75 million boost to Queensland-China science collaborations

    Queensland’s global position as a hub for scientific discoveries received a boost today with the renewal of an international research collaboration with one of the world’s leading research institutes.

    Minister for Science and Innovation Leeanne Enoch and Professor Yaping Zhang, Vice-President of the renowned Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), today renewed the Queensland-CAS (Q-CAS) Collaborative Science Fund.

    “We know that encouraging this high-level cooperation between our brightest scientific and technical minds will deliver economic, social and environmental benefits for Queensland, China and for the broader Asia Pacific region,” Ms Enoch said.

    CAS is one the world’s most eminent scientific organisations, home to two universities in China and 110 specialist institutes.

    The Q-CAS Fund aims to foster collaborations and industry networks in the areas of: agricultural biotechnology and food research, including food safety; human health, including immunology and neuroscience; and energy.

    “This $1.75 million agreement is made up of $875,000 from Queensland Government matched by $875,000 from CAS, and will support three Q-CAS funding rounds from 2015-2018,” Ms Enoch said.

    “I am pleased to declare applications for the first round of funding open today.”

    Ms Enoch said the Fund had already supported nine collaborative research projects and five research fellows since 2009.

    These projects range from looking at new ways of making durable low-cost solar cells to treating oral cancers, a big killer of young men in south-east China.

    “A collaboration between Griffith University’s Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery and the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica has focussed on understanding the science behind traditional Chinese medicines,” she said.

    “The Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland and the CAS Institute of Biophysics also explored how the earth’s geomagnetic field may affect brain development.”

    Ms Enoch said the Q-CAS Fund aligned with the $180 million Advance Queensland initiative to build a strong knowledge-based economy to create jobs now and for the future.

    “Advance Queensland recognises the importance of international collaborations and that key partnerships with countries like China on science and innovation are critical to delivering social, economic and environmental benefits for Queensland,” she said.

    Professor Zhang said science and innovation were crucial to finding solutions to common global challenges, including climate change and fighting disease.

    “And what works best is when our scientists collaborate. Queensland has excellent research capability in people and infrastructure and the Chinese Academy of Sciences is very pleased to continue our strong partnership,” Professor Zhang said.

    Also at today’s function, the Queensland Chinese Association of Scientists and Engineers presented Professor Ian Frazer AO with the inaugural 2015 QCASE Award in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of science collaboration between Queensland and China.

    “Professor Frazer has had a distinguished career and is recognised today for the development of the world’s first vaccine against cervical cancer with the late Professor Jian Zhou,” Ms Enoch said.

    Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women, and one of the deadliest. The vaccine, administered more than 125 million times, has saved countless lives and also saved many women from a protracted and painful course of treatment involving surgery and chemotherapy.

    To apply for Q-CAS Funding and for more information, see https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industry/science/grants/qcas

    Media contact: Kim Lyell 0437 859987