Dr Dale McClure from the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering has recently been awarded the Fisheries Research Development Corporation Award at the Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Coordinated by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, these awards recognise scientific projects contributing to Australia’s success and sustainability in agricultural industries.
The award winning research gaining industry attention builds on Dr McClure’s work in biotechnology processes, investigating the opportunity to grow microalgae in nutrient-rich wastewater left from intensive fish farming. By growing the right type of algae, Dr McClure plans to produce high value compounds such as Vitamin K and weight loss pigment fucoxanthin. These compounds can be worth more than $10,000/kg to pharmaceutical and food industries, potentially providing Australian farmers with a whole new source of revenue.
“The idea is to take what’s a problem for them at the moment and then try and work out how they can make some money out of it or do something more valuable with it”, says Dr McClure.
Dr McClure’s work is an initiative of the ARC Training Centre for the Australian Food Processing Industry in the 21st Century. The centre aims to support the Australian food industry in delivering a safe, sustainable and competitive food supply. Dr McClure’s work research demonstrates that repurposing high-value industry waste provides both a profitable and environmentally friendly solution towards this goal. Dr McClure has recently joined The University of Sydney’s Centre for Excellence in Advanced Food Enginomics.