Advance Queensland funds Darling Downs innovative research

Published Tuesday, 09 February, 2016 at 02:52 PM

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

Darling Downs’ research innovations to improve the health of Queensland seniors and increase the efficiency and profitability of the meat processing industry have received funding as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Advance Queensland initiative.

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch announced University of Southern Queensland researchers, Associate Professor Bernadette McCabe and Dr Sunil Panchal will share in $480,000 funding through the Advance Queensland Research Fellowship program.

“This funding will support research projects to deliver a range of benefits to industry and the community, including increased energy efficiency, better environmental management and healthier diets for older people,” Ms Enoch said.

“Both of these projects have great potential for the Darling Downs, Queensland and Australia.

“Both researchers have strong industry partners and their projects have the potential to cascade through the primary industries and health sectors nationally to deliver real world results.”

Assoc. Prof. McCabe and Dr Panchal are among 56 researchers across the state to receive Advance Queensland PhD Scholarship and Research Fellowship funding totalling $10.4 million.

Speaking at an Advance Queensland Regional Forum held in Toowoomba today, Ms Enoch congratulated both recipients on their innovative research initiatives.

Assoc. Prof. McCabe has been awarded a mid-career Research Fellowship – $300,000 over three years – to develop tools and processes for improving the production of biogas from red meat processing waste.

She will work with Oakey’s NH Foods Australia, one of Australia’s largest meat processing operations.

“We’ve got huge untapped potential throughout Australia in the red meat processing industry for the production of biogas and high value added products from better waste management practices,” Assoc. Prof. McCabe said.

“In collaboration with our industry partner, my team will develop ways to improve biogas production and reduce the carbon footprint of processing operations.”

Dr Panchal has been awarded an early career Research Fellowship – $180,000 over three years – to develop dietary guidelines and products for older people to help them stay healthier for longer.

He will partner with Nature Pacific Pty Ltd, Nutrafruit Pty Ltd and Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals and Food Development Centre to source sustainable, effective and affordable foods to develop products with potential to treat chronic, age-related health complications.

“Our elderly citizens provide our state and nation with a wealth of skills, knowledge, wisdom and capacity for mentorship – my project will aim to develop a range of affordable food products for older people to help them keep chronic age-related complaints at bay,” he said.

The second round of Advance Queensland PhD Scholarships and Research Fellowships will be opened later this year.  Prospective applicants can register for updates by visiting the Advance Queensland website.

Media: Daniel Lato 0438 830 201