Funding for three collaborative projects through the first round of the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) Grand Challenge Fund has been announced by the Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans.


Australia will provide $8.9 million to fund the Australian arm of the research and the Government of India will support the participation by Indian teams in these joint projects.


The three successful projects are:

  • 'Ensuring food security: harnessing science to protect our grain harvest from insect threats': a collaboration between the University of Queensland and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU);
  • 'Crop plants which remove their own major biotic constraints': a collaboration between the University of Melbourne and International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in India; and
  • 'Genomic Approaches for Stress Tolerant Chickpea': a collaboration between the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India.

The Grand Challenge Fund is a component of the $64 million Australia-India Strategic Research Fund, which has supported more than 90 projects, involving more than 100 leading Australian and Indian universities and research institutes since it began in 2006.


The Grand Challenge Fund is designed to support projects of a significant scale and ambition, up to $3 million per project in Australian contribution, and an applied focus in areas of priority to Australia and India.