A new collaborative group is bringing together key players within the Australian water community who undertake the role of research and development knowledge brokers, with an aim of sharing information on R&D and promoting knowledge and adoption of research outcomes to the industry.

The new group – the Australian Water Research and Development Coalition – includes Water Quality Research Australia, the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, Goyder Institute for Water, National Centre of Excellence for Desalination, National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, National Water Commission, Victorian Smart Water Fund, Urban Water Security Research Alliance, and Water Services Association of Australia.

Using these R&D knowledge brokers as a starting point, efforts are underway to explore the opportunity to design and implement a more cooperative and efficient national approach to urban water research investment and management.

The Federation of Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS), the peak body that brings together nearly 60 member groups in the science and technology sector,  has been rebadged to become Science & Technology Australia.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson and Member for Newcastle, Sharon Grierson officially opened the CSIRO Solar Tower which will focus on solar tower research, development and commercialisation in the Hunter Region.

The Federal Government has announced crossbench support for the new R&D Tax Credit with a new start date of 1 July 2011. The new $1.8 billion R&D Tax Credit will replace the R&D Tax Concession.

Australia’s first bionics institute will be a leader in neurobionic research, with the aim of developing devices for conditions such as epilepsy.

Three new collaborative research projects have been allocated funding totalling $6.1 million under Round 4 of the Australian Space Research Program (ASRP.

NICTA (National ICT Australia) and German IT security specialist secunet (Security Networks AG) signed a research agreement to develop high-security IT products for the defence and government sectors.

The Federal Government has announced it will contribute more than $9 million toward research for the protection of soldiers of the Australian Defence Force.

The Federal  Government will continue its matching contributions to rural research and development corporations, following the release of a review on Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) by the Productivity Commission. 

A report by the Victorian Auditor-General has criticised the University of Melbourne for failing to establish that its investment in a $100 million life sciences computing facility represents the most effective use of a $50 million state government grant.

Australia’s first synthetic fuels facility, the $5 million Synfuel and Catalysis Research Facility (Syncat), has been launched in Perth. The facility is a public private partnership housed at the Australian Resources Research Centre in Western Australia's Technology Park.

Professor Denzil Miller, Professorial Fellow at University of Wollongong in Ocean Governance and Honorary Research Professor at the University of Tasmania in Antarctic Conservation, has been appointed as Director, Antarctic Tasmania, Science and Research.

The Western Australian Government has announced an additional $8million in funding over three years for health and medical research in Western Australia.

The Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics (CoEPP) has opened at Melbourne University with the objective of helping to answer primary questions about the origin of the universe.

The Federal Government's Innovation Investment Fund has invested $60 million in  three innovation fund managers — Carnegie Venture Capital Pty Ltd, the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund and Southern Cross Venture Partners Pty Ltd.

CSIRO has reported the completion of powerful modelling techniques to aim to better understand the full impact of flooding that occurs when dams collapse.

The Collie South West Hub capture and storage (CCS) trial project in Western Australia is to receive up to $104 million in matching Federal and State funding for the completion of a detailed storage viability study.

The Western Australian Government is providing $15.8million over four years to iVEC’s Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, headquartered at Technology Park, Bentley.

The Victorian Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher has announced the winners of the 2011 Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge and Innovation (VESKI) Fellowships at a ceremony in Melbourne.

Research conducted by the University of Exeter Business School in the United Kingdom shows that that the Australian government’s Innovation Investment Fund allows start-up companies more scope for follow-on investments and has significantly contributed towards the supply of high-potential businesses.

A potential treatment for severe E. coli food poisoning outbreaks that was developed more than a decade ago and might have been deployed in the recent outbreaks occurring in Europe has not progressed to clinical trials because of lack of commercial interest.

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