Research links strengthen Australian-German ties
Universities Australia will today host a national workshop on the importance of research collaboration in building a deeper relationship with Germany.
The Canberra workshop will highlight how collaboration leads to large-scale research partnerships, ground-breaking discoveries and prosperity for both nations.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said Germany is consistently ranked as the third most important country in terms of research collaboration for Australian universities.
“Germany is a research powerhouse and our strong links are critical for Australia’s research capacity and delivering wider economic and social benefits,” Ms Robinson said.
“We now have nearly 300 academic and research collaboration agreements with Germany and nearly 400 student exchange agreements,” she said.
In 2015, Universities Australia conducted the first round of the Australia-Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme. The scheme funds Australian researchers to work with colleagues in German partner institutions and to bring German researchers to Australia.
Thirty-six Australian universities have participated, attracting $3.5 million in grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and supporting 100 joint research projects.
The joint projects, to be showcased at the workshop, cover a wide range of life-changing research including low cost HIV prognostics, online mental health tools for eating disorder sufferers, and research into the effects of physical exercise on dementia.
“The Australia-Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme has been so successful because it brings together the strengths of both nations: Australia's basic research and Germany's research commercialisation,” Ms Robinson said.
In 2014, the Australian Government established a high-level advisory group chaired by Australian Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. The group's report recommended forging closer ties between the two nations in science, innovation, academic exchange and research collaboration.
Speakers at the workshop include:
• Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann – Australian Minister for Finance and Co-Chairman of the Australia-Germany Advisory Group (AGAG)
• His Excellency David Ritchie - Former Australian Ambassador to Germany and member of the AGAG
• Her Excellency Dr Anna Prinz - German Ambassador to Australia
• Professor Brian P. Schmidt – Vice-Chancellor, The Australian National University and member of the AGAG
• Mr Stefan Bienefeld, Head of Division for Development Cooperation and Transregional Programmes, DAAD
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