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Australia-India Council grant recipients 2021-22

Fostering an Australian-Indian Zero-Carbon Building Construction Network

Application ID: AIC-020-2021

Organisation: University of Newcastle

Australia-India Council Grant Offer: $49,500.00 incl GST

Total project value $201,028.00

Project description

The construction industry contributes around one-third of worldwide Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, requiring a transformation of how buildings are designed, built and operated.

This project delivers three dialogues between academia, government, and industry to develop an action roadmap towards achieving zero-carbon buildings. The dialogues are informed by a position paper focused on: (1) Construction Market, Technology, and Industry Readiness, (2) Trade and Supply Network Challenges/Opportunities. (3) Behavioural and Cultural Issues, (4) Policy Challenges/Opportunities, and (5) Educational Capacity - Awareness, Capabilities and Skills.

Critical insights, collaboration priorities and actions will be published on a digital platform to facilitate knowledge sharing with the broader community. The policy directions will identify strategies for engaging in education and trade/business-based collaboration networks in zero-carbon construction between India and Australia.

Sector: Infrastructure, Education

AIC priority area: Climate Change

Key dates

Event Location Dates

Event 1A:  Joint Dialogue - Driving the Zero Carbon Construction Strategy:  Key Drivers and Opportunities
Event 1B:  Zero-Carbon Products, Components and Elements
An exhibition for manufacturers and suppliers to display their products, processes, services, and systems aimed at achieving sustainable buildings and zero-carbon outcomes in India and Australia.
Event 1C:  Announcement of a cross country Zero-Carbon student project competition
A student competition aimed at fostering cross-country collaboration and innovation in education in relation to zero-carbon building brief.

Sydney & Mumbai

Oct 22

Event 2A:  Joint Dialogue: Industry Partnerships for Mapping and Operationalising Zero Carbon Construction Networks
Event 2B:  Exhibition- Towards Zero-Carbon Buildings:  The Concept Design and Projects
Event 2C:  Meeting to discuss the Progress of the cross country Zero-Carbon student project

Sydney & Mumbai

Nov 22

Event 3A:  Joint Virtual Dialogue:  Educational Partnerships for Curriculum Design.

Event 3B: Exhibition of the cross-country student projects

Sydney & Mumbai

Feb 23

Social media

Group photo of Dr Jessica Siva, Associate Professor Thayaparan Gajendran and Dr Kim Maund out bush.
The University of Newcastle project team members, Dr Jessica Siva (Left), Associate Professor Thayaparan Gajendran (Middle), Dr Kim Maund (Right), School of Architecture and Built Environment precinct, University of Newcastle, 16/05/22. Credit: University of Newcastle media team.

Selecting chickpea cultivars for growth and symbiotic performance under drought

Application ID: AIC-039-2021

Organisation: Flinders University

Australia-India Council Grant Offer: $176,000.00 incl GST

Total project value $406,304.00

Project description

Chickpeas are an important pulse crop with global annual production of more than 14.2 million tonnes. Australia is the world’s largest exporter (650,000 tonnes annually).
Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, minerals, vitamins, and health-promoting fatty acids, and their high protein content means they are an excellent alternative to animal-based foods.

This, together with their ability to form symbiosis with soil bacteria to utilise atmospheric nitrogen, make them an important part of sustainable agriculture. Chickpeas grow using stored soil moisture after the rainy season in India and NE Australia, or during the rainy season after spring or autumn sowing (Western and South Australia). In both situations, crops face terminal drought as seed filling occurs under increasing temperatures and decreasing soil moisture.

The focus of this project is to identify chickpea cultivars that are drought tolerant and fix nitrogen symbiotically, for sustainable yields in both Australia and India.

Sector: Agribusiness

AIC priority area: Climate Change

Key dates

Event Location Dates
Workshop - Research team and researchers Online, Flinders University 15 Aug 22
Seminar - Academics and students Flinders University 15 Sep 22
Science Week - General Public Adelaide 19-21 Aug 22

Social media

Woman in a lab coat holding chickpea plant in a greenhouse.
Chickpea growing in greenhouse at Flinders University, Adelaide. Credit: Ms Tania Bawden, Media Advisor, Office of Communication, Marketing and Engagement, Flinders University.

How will climate change impact mango cultivars and their pollinators?

Application ID: AIC-054-2021

Organisation: Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University

Australia-India Council Grant Offer: $66,000 incl GST

Total project value $576,572.00

Project description

The project will aim to identify the climate and pollination needs of different mango varieties in India and Australia, enabling us to make industry recommendations on modifying planting regimes in response to changing climate.

The project will also determine which insect floral visitors are important for optimising crop yield in different regions, and how these species will respond to climate change. The project plans to compare the floral biology of mango varieties by measuring traits such as nectar volume/concentration and pollen nutrient profiles, and how these traits impact their pollination attractiveness and reliance.

In Australia, Hort Innovation has funded a local PhD position. In India, Western Sydney University has funded a joint PhD scholarship between our university and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. AIC funding will be used to organise a series of yearly workshops in India and Australia over the three-year project period to promote coordination, collaboration, capacity building and industry development.

Sector: Agribusiness

AIC priority area: Climate Change

Key dates

Event Location Dates
Workshop Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 21-24 Oct 22
Workshop and public engagement Darwin and/or Sydney 01-05 May 24
Workshop Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 01-05 May 25

Social media

Photo of Orchard of mangoes under a tall mountain.
An orchard of mangoes near Anamalia Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu, India. Credit: James Makinson.

VirtuCare: co‐designing disability‐inclusive virtual healthcare and rehabilitation in India

Application ID: AIC-079-2021

Organisation: Nossal Institute

Australia-India Council Grant Offer: $176,000.00 incl GST

Total project value $588,927.00

Project description

The VirtuCare project applies learnings from the role played by telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic to inform the co-design, piloting and evaluation of inclusive virtual healthcare and rehabilitation services in India.

In the rapid expansion of telehealth over the past two years, the health and rehabilitation needs of people with disability who were often excluded. This project will produce a model of care to address these needs. In partnership with the technology industry, researchers and government agencies (DEPwD, eSanjeevani), the project will analyse effective models of disability-inclusive virtual rehabilitation, analyse new technology and policy innovation, co-design the VirtuCare model. The project will pilot and evaluate new innovations among community-based inclusive development workers (a current Government of India-Australia Initiative) and selected health and wellness centres.

Experts will then work with Industry partners to optimise the technology (software and hardware), and plan with existing government partners to expand the initiative to the national disability and health systems.

Sector: Health, Public Administration & Governance

AIC priority area: Critical Tech

Key dates

Event Location Dates
Launch Melbourne 01 Aug 22
Launch India 01 Sep 22

Social media

Girl in medical mask listening to doctor on laptop at home.
Patient in medical mask listening to doctor on laptop at home.

Blue carbon sequestration supports climate adaptation in the Indian Ocean

Application ID: AIC-094-2021

Organisation: University of Western Australia

Australia-India Council Grant Offer: $176,000.00 incl GST

Total Project Value $331,393.00

Project description

This project extends the COP26-announced US $15M Convex Blue Carbon Seascape (CBCS) project quantifying blue carbon seascapes of the Indian southern continental shelf and Australia’s northwest continental shelf.

It provides key information for India’s fisheries management to mitigate climate change and expand its marine conservation areas under its commitment to protect 30% of national waters by 2030.

The outcomes of the two components will inform climate-focused decision-making in India and Australia to support fisheries’ climate resilience and marine conservation. The project mirrors CBCS, providing international context, and includes mapping of fish biomass and fish catches on the continental shelves in India’s southern shelf and Australia’s northwest shelf.

Baited remote underwater video systems will be deployed to determine fish biomass and thus carbon storage. UWA’s strong collaboration with FishBase will generate the nutrient information required to determine carbon sequestration, and with SeaAroundUs to highlight existing carbon sources and extraction via spatially allocated fisheries catch data.

Sector: Agribusiness

AIC priority area: Climate Change

Key dates

Event Location Dates
Community Event Exmouth, WA 01-31 Aug 22
Community Event Port Blair, South Andaman Island 01-30 Nov 22
Stakeholder Meeting Perth, WA 01-31 Mar 23
Stakeholder Meeting Bengaluru 01-28 Feb 23

Social media

Woman deploying a mid-water baited video system into the ocean
Deploying a mid-water baited video system to count fish and thus carbon, Western Australia 2021. Credit: Andrew McGregor.

Australia‐India Mining Innovation Program

Application ID: AIC-114-2021

Organisation: Austmine Limited

Australia-India Council Grant Offer: $55,000.00 incl GST

Total project value $79,860.00

Project description

The Australia-India Mining Innovation Program (AIMIP) will facilitate collaboration between Indian mining companies and Australian METS companies to solve critical technology challenges in relation to increasing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) expectations.

AIMIP will build relationships with Indian miners to address their major technical and operational challenges and connect them to innovative Australian METS companies to collectively deliver solutions or collaborate on adopting new technologies.

Virtual workshops and informative webinars will develop collaboration and open up dialogue around resolving operational challenges.

Selected METS companies will have the opportunity to visit India to better understand the operational context and further refine their solutions, while Indian miners will participate in the Austmine 2023 Mining Innovation Conference and related activities in Adelaide.

AIMIP consists of six mining challenges, online business and cultural training for Australian METS, a trade mission to India, and an Indian miner delegation at the Austmine 2023 Conference.

Sector: Resources and METS

AIC priority area: Critical Minerals, Critical Tech

Key dates

Event Location Dates
IME - International Mining, Equipment Minerals & Metals Exhibition Kolkata 09-11 Jan 23
Austmine 2023 Adelaide 09-11 May 23
Smart Mining decorative infographic.
Smart Mining. Credit: Enegra.

A Novel Malaria Pathogen Detection System for Rural Communities

Application ID: AIC-116-2021

Organisation: University of Canberra

Australia-India Council Grant Offer: $99,000.00 incl GST

Total project value $187,421.66

Project description

Accurate and rapid diagnosis of malaria parasites before treatment is of utmost importance to reduce malaria mortality and morbidity. While microscopy remains the gold standard and rapid detection test (RDT) is the present mainstay of malaria diagnosis, in most large health clinics and hospitals the quality of microscopy is frequently inadequate, and the accuracy of RDTs is reportedly falling due to specific parasite antigenic genes mutations.

The detection is cumbersome in specifically remote and rural areas, which can impede the diagnosis and treatment. Delay in receiving treatment for uncomplicated malaria is often reported to increase the risk of developing severe malaria, but access to treatment remains low in most rural areas, where the burden of disease is high.

The objective of this project is to develop an innovative cyber-critical technology framework for early malaria pathogen detection. The proposed translational technology solution can be useful for other diseases and regions globally.

Sector: Health

AIC priority area: Critical & Cyber Technology

Key dates

Event Location Dates
Virtual Webinar Hybrid 12-19 Dec 22
Technology Showcase at AusMedTech Australia 15-19 Jan 24
Technology Showcase at Medical Expo India 10-14 Jun 24

Social media

A Novel Malaria Pathogen Detection System for Rural Communities
AI for Digital Pathology: Mitigating Global Health Inequalities Based on A Novel Computational Framework for Detecting Malaria in Rural Communities. Credit: Girija Chetty.

Australia‐India space start-up exchange and trade visit

Application ID: AIC-118-2021

Organisation: University of South Australia

Australia-India Council Grant Offer: $49,500.00 incl GST

Total project value $74,653.00

Project description

The Australia-India space start-up exchange and trade visit will connect deep technology space companies and their respective research, industry and investment networks for the purpose of collaborating on critical technologies to fast-track market entry and increase investment opportunities.

Through a series of online exchanges, technology demonstrations and a trade visit, the project provides a mechanism to develop mutually beneficial relationships between emerging deep tech companies supported by the two countries.

Through the program of exchange, Indian start-up companies can connect and have access to critical areas of emerging Australian technology and exchange technical and business expertise. Australian start-up companies will be exposed to technical expertise and research through a number of accelerators and incubators as well as university-supported industry parks, enhancing their networks and increasing their ability to trade and potentially seek investment from the fast-growing investment community in India.

Sector: Science, Tech & Innovation

AIC priority area: Critical & Cyber Technology

Key dates

Event Location Dates
Monthly exchange forum for selected startups to connect with Indian based startups Adelaide and various cities in India Nov 22 - Apr 23
Ten-day startup delegation event Adelaide, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Trivandrum 23 Apr - 04 May 23
Australian Space startup demonstration event Chennai and Bengaluru Jun 23

Social media

Poster for Aus-India space start-up alliance
The Innovation & Collaboration Centre has launched its Aus-India space start-up alliance under the Australia-India Council grant. Pictured left to right: 2021 Venture Catalyst Space participants, SPACELIS CEO Gular Kocak, Harshitha Rajashekara of Locus Rose, Hex20 CEO Lloyd Lopez, Tessa Ewens of Locus Rose. Credit: Cath Leo, Photographer. Alex Ferrabetta Design.

Case Studies: Advocating Business Success Between Australia and India

Application ID: AIC-134-2021

Organisation: Newland Global Group

Australia-India Council Grant Offer: $88,000 incl GST

Total project value $160,000.00

Project description

The project aims to address the knowledge gap that currently persists in both markets on existing business successes.

There is little awareness of Australian companies that are doing well in India, and of Indian companies doing well in Australia. The project, through its case studies, will capture business wins in priority sectors of engagement that would create cultural and business reference points for attitudes to shift and trust to be built.

These case studies will expose companies to real business experiences, opportunities, dilemmas, and decisions. It will educate companies to consider the broader organisational, industry and societal context, cultivating the capacity for critical analysis, judgment, decision-making, and action. The aim of this project is to encourage corporate Australia and India to engage at a more proactive level, providing them with a framework of established business wins across diverse sectors supplemented with lessons learned and recommendations.

Sector: All sectors

AIC priority areas: Economic Cooperation, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Key dates

Event Location Dates
Launch of report Australia 01 Feb-29 Jun 23
Launch of report India 01 Feb-29 Jun 23

Social media

Poster for Australia-India Business stories.
Case Studies: Advocating Business Success Between Australia and India. Credit: Newland Global Group.
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