Australia’s largest bilateral science research collaboration fund is with India. The Australia India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) was established in 2006 and received increased funding in 2009. The presentation will consider the historic-political context for the establishment of the Fund, the grants awarded for the first three years, and assess the Fund’s impact and future, drawing on the experience of a particular funded project.
Professor John Webb OAM was Counsellor (Education, Science and Training) at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi from 2005 to early 2008, with responsibilities that included Nepal and Pakistan. A graduate of Sydney (BSc Hons, University Medal), Caltech (PhD) and Murdoch University (Dip Ed), he has published widely in biological inorganic chemistry with particular reference to biological solids, nanoparticles and the genetic disease of thalassemia.
In 1996, while based at Murdoch University in Perth, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for establishing collaborative research networks in Asia and for research achievements in chemistry. He is currently Deputy Director of the Australia India Institute, based at the University of Melbourne.
Professor Muthupandian Ashokkumar is a senior academic staff member of the School of Chemistry, University of Melbourne. After his PhD (University of Madras) and postdoctoral positions in France (Ecole Polytechnique and University of Paris-Orsay) and Japan (JSPS Fellow, Tokyo Institute of Technology), he began his academic career at the University of Melbourne in 1996. He is a renowned sonochemist and has made major contributions of applied sonochemistry to the food and dairy industry. His team was awarded an AISRF grant in the first round (2007-10).
His recent research work involves the ultrasonic synthesis of functional nano- and biomaterials including protein microspheres that can be used in diagnostic and therapeutic medicine. He has edited/co-edited several books and special issues for journals; published 200 refereed papers in high impact international journals and books; and delivered over 100 invited/keynote/plenary lectures at international conferences and academic institutions.