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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Queensland-China research funding to benefit health and cars

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016

    Queensland-China research funding to benefit health and cars

    The close working relationship between Queensland and Chinese researchers has been strengthened today, with the announcement of funding for three research projects through the Queensland-Chinese Academy of Sciences Collaborative Research Fund.

    A project to significantly improve electric car batteries, development of a malaria vaccine and research into using MRI technology to predict the risk of schizophrenia were each awarded funding through the Q-CAS Fund.

    The Q-CAS fund provides individual grants up to $250,000 over three years to assist Queensland and Chinese researchers and companies to jointly undertake highly innovative research and development projects.

    Science Minister Leeanne Enoch said the projects once again illustrated Queensland’s global position as a hub for scientific research.

    “The Q-CAS fund aims to foster collaboration and industry networking between Queensland and Chinese researchers in the areas of agricultural biotechnology and food research; human health, immunology and neuroscience; and energy,” Ms Enoch said.

    “These latest recipients represent cutting edge research in their fields which could have significant benefits for both Queensland and China.

    “It is particularly important to recognise the potential of these projects during National Science Week, when the nation’s attention has turned to the outstanding work Australian scientists are undertaking.”

    QUT Professor Nunzio Motta, in collaboration with Professor Yuegang Zhang from China’s Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics are leading a project aimed at developing superior electric car batteries using nanotechnology.

    “One of the big challenges for electric cars is that their current batteries require regular recharging, requiring hours to complete,” Ms Enoch said.

    “Imagine an electric car battery that can be charged in minutes and allow the vehicle to range much further than current technology.

    “This is the very real prospect with a graphene supercapacitor, providing an alternative to batteries as we know them.

    “If Professor Motta and Professor Zhang can accomplish this, then we’re not only talking about the next revolution in electric vehicles, but also an array of products that batteries are currently used for, from mobile phones to solar energy storage.”

    Renowned Queensland malaria researcher Professor Michael Good from Griffith University and partner Professor Lubin Jiang from the Institute Pasteur Shanghai Project have received funding to work on a vaccine for malaria and a delivery system for the vaccine.

    “Malaria affects approximately 500 million people worldwide, causing 1 million deaths per year, mostly in young children under five, but also a significant number of pregnant women,” Ms Enoch said.

    “The project will bring together two separate technologies that the partners have pioneered to develop the most advanced whole parasite malaria vaccine to date,” Ms Enoch said.

    The third recipient is Professor Stuart Crozier, from the University of Queensland, in collaboration with Professor Tianzi Jiang from China’s Institute of Automation on Advancing Ultrahigh-Field MRI based Neuroimaging.

    “Schizophrenia affects about 150,000 to 200,000 Australians. While causes of the disease are unknown, recent research shows major brain changes in people with the disease,” Ms Enoch said.

    “The researchers are looking at finding neuroimaging biomarkers of schizophrenia that might lead to early diagnosis and better management of the disease.”


    Media contact: Daniel Lato 0438 830 201