Two new Cooperative Research Centres successfully funded
19 February 2013
Two new Cooperative Research Centres with nodes at the University of Sydney have been successful in gaining funding from the federal government and will start operating in July 2013.
The Hon Chris Bowen, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, announced three new Cooperative Research Centres across Australia on 17 February 2013. The two Centres with nodes at the University of Sydney are the CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing and the CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity.
Cooperative Research Centres bring together researchers, industry, communities and government to produce world leading research that addresses major challenges in the public and private sectors.
The CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing will receive $20 million to help make Australia a world leader in the manufacture of cell therapies. These therapies offer exciting possibilities for a range of previously incurable and difficult-to-treat conditions.
Professor Marcela Bilek, from the School of Physics, is the Director of the University of Sydney node of the CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing. Professor Tony Weiss, from the School of Molecular Bioscience, and Professor David McKenzie, from the School of Physics, are also part of the University of Sydney node of this CRC.
"Cell therapy has the potential to revolutionise health care and bring huge quality of life enhancement to patients if it can be made more affordable. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to work with new partners across the spectrum of relevant disciplines to make this happen," said Professor Marcela Bilek.
"The University of Sydney team will contribute to the new materials and technologies program particularly in the areas of key technologies for cell sorting, identifying important cell markers, bioprocessing and storage."
"For example, the patented materials developed in our lab will enable the development of simple assays for biomarkers that identify cell differentiation states, as well as the development of cell culture surfaces that achieve effective cell sorting," explained Professor Bilek.
"I believe the ease of communication between industry and academia afforded by the CRC model will be a key driver of successful outcomes."
The CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing will be led by the University of South Australia, with Director Professor Rob Short based there, with nodes at the University of Sydney, University of Adelaide and Queensland University of Technology. The Centre has 14 industry and organisational partners, including the four universities, local, national and global manufacturers, clinical partners from the Royal Adelaide Hospital, St Vincent's Institute and Westmead Hospitals, and some key charities.
The CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity will receive $14.5 million to reduce the burden of impaired alertness on the safety, productivity and health of all Australians.
Professor Peter Robinson, from the School of Physics, is one of two Program Leaders of this CRC. Professor Ron Grunstein, from the Faculty of Medicine, leads Education and Training programs of the CRC and Professor Sanjay Chawla and Dr Fabio Ramos, from the School of Information Technologies in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, are also participants.
"The CRC program provides an excellent vehicle for interdisciplinary and integrative research translation that would be difficult or impossible to carry out through other channels," said Professor Robinson.
"The CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity will develop and deploy the next generation of shift scheduling and workplace design techniques; alertness assessment and prediction devices; individualised programs for better sleep health; and a range of innovative strategies to reduce fatigue," explained Professor Robinson.
"We will build on Australia's strengths in sleep and alertness research by bringing together expert knowledge, state of the art technologies, and key industry, government and academic partners."
"These new products and services will improve alertness and performance, resulting in fewer injuries, enhanced workplace efficiency and improved quality of life in our 24 hour society."
The CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity will have nodes at the University of Sydney, Monash University and Flinders University. The Centre has 25 industry and organisational partners, including key partners Philips Respironics, Constraint Technologies and Lighting Science Group Corporation, plus University of Sydney spin-off company Brain Resource.
Read more about the Cooperative Research Centre scheme at: www.crc.gov.au/Information/default.aspx
Contact: Katynna Gill
Phone: 02 9351 6997