Nominations have been called for the 2012 NSW Science and Engineering Awards.


The awards include a $5,000 prize in each of eight categories, as well as $55,000 to the overall NSW Scientist of the Year.


The 2012 Award categories are:

· Excellence in Mathematics, Earth Science, Chemistry and Physics

· Excellence in Biological Sciences (Human and Animal Health)

· Excellence in Biological Sciences (Plant, Agriculture and Environment)

· Excellence in Engineering and Information and Communications Technologies

· Emerging Research

· Renewable Energy Innovation

· Innovation in Public Sector Science and Engineering

· Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education.


Nominations for the awards close 5pm, 31 August 2012. Winners will be announced at NSW Government House in November.

For further details on the NSW Scientist of the Year and NSW Science and Engineering Awards 2012, including entry requirements, are here.

Bond University will lead a national $14 million sports science research project in collaboration with The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute.

The project is the largest of its kind, with $5.75 million cash funding from the Commonwealth Government.

The Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education has awarded Bond University a $5.75million Collaborative Research Network (CRN) grant.

In collaboration with Professor Matt Brown's group at The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, the project also involves the Australian Institute of Sport, and the University of Sydney, and will identify proactive ways to manage the health and fitness, and potential for injury of athletes and the wider community.

Professor Matt Brown says this is a great opportunity to partner UQDI's outstanding strength in genomics research with leading experts in musculoskeletal sciences to investigate issues relating not just to athletic performance, but also healthy ageing.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Bond University in this fascinating study, which will contribute a lot to the understanding of major musculoskeletal diseases of ageing, such as osteoporotic fracture and arthritis.”

Bond University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Brailsford said the CRN grant was a significant development for Bond University and sports science research in Australia, and the timing could not have been better.

“This is not only Australia's largest sports science research project it is also the largest research grant awarded to Bond University in its 23 year history. With the Olympics about to commence, the timing of this announcement could not have been better,” said Professor Brailsford.

The CRN program provides a platform for regional and metropolitan institutions to develop their research capacity and strengthen research systems by partnering with other institutions, to leverage world-class infrastructure and specialist expertise.

Professor Brailsford said the project will bring together some of Australia's most prominent experts in musculoskeletal and sports science, such as Professor Matt Brown, Professor Bon Gray from Bond University; Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh from the University of Sydney; Professor Nicholas Brown, AIS Deputy Director (Research and Applied Science).  

German chemical company, BASF, has opened a research and development centre in Australia to lead technological innovation and increase productivity in the global mining and resources sector.


The new facility, located at the Australian Mineral Research Centre (AMRC) in Perth, will drive innovation in mineral processing and metal production technology with a view to enhance sustainable mining practices in Australia and around the world.


A team of six will lead the company’s research into minerals thickening and crystallisation processes; by 2017 BASF hope to employ around 20 researchers at the centre.


Vice Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF, Dr Martin Brudemueller, said the company’s research will help to ensure the sustainability of the global mining industry.


“With the latest advances in mining solutions research, BASF aims to help mining operations to minimize water consumption, maximize recovery, reduce land areas consumed by tailings disposal and minimize the cost and time required to rehabilitate sites,” Dr Brudemueller said.

The new Director of Perth's Telethon Institute for Child Health Research says his focus will be to ensure that high quality research is effectively translated to health practice and policy so that it makes a real difference to the lives of children and families. 


The University of Western Australia's Winthrop Professor Jonathan Carapetis started in the role last week after heading the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin.


Professor Carapetis was appointed to replace Founding Director Professor Fiona Stanley, who retired at the end of last year.


Professor Carapetis said he was very keen to forge strong links with the people delivering health services at hospitals and the Health Department.


"As a paediatrician I know how important it is to have that strong connection between practice and research.  It not only means that we're working on the basis of the latest evidence but that what we see in clinics can also be fed back to shape and inform the type of research that's undertaken," Professor Carapetis said.


"The Telethon Institute has an outstanding record of advocacy and influence and I'll be very keen to see that continue and grow.


"In particular, Aboriginal child health research will continue to be a priority area and I am committed to pursuing that agenda at both the Institute level and through my own research interest in rheumatic heart disease."


Professor Carapetis said he was also excited by the Telethon Institute's strong focus on scientific discovery.


It's very important that we better understand the biological basis underpinning the disease process at the cellular and molecular levels as well as the influence of genetic and environmental factors.


"I think the mix of translational and discovery science is very powerful and gives the Institute a breadth and depth that sees it very well positioned for the future."


With the Institute's geographical position on Australia's west coast, Professor Carapetis said he was keen to increase its activity in international health issues.


"Our proximity to Asia and Africa and our expertise in child development and Indigenous child health research presents some excellent opportunities within the broader region," he said.


The Telethon Institute for Child Health Research was founded in 1990 and has more than 500 staff and postgraduate students investigating major diseases, disabilities and disorders affecting children and families.

Three regional universities will receive $19.6 million in federal government funding to improve their research capacity and drive stronger performance outcomes.

The Australian Energy Research Institute (AERI) at UNSW has appointed George Maltabarow – an energy specialist who previously headed up Ausgrid, Australia’s largest electricity network - as its inaugural Chairman.

The University of Western Australia has teamed up with Agilent Technologies, one of the world's leaders in measurement technology, for  a five-year collaboration that will enable the development of ground-breaking applications in Life Sciences. 

The Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, has announced 209 Future Fellowships totalling $151 million.

Australian researchers will translate their discoveries into commercial products faster thanks to a newly established Queensland Node of the Therapeutic Innovation Australia (TIA).

The Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, has released a rural R&D policy statement which aims to promote greater collaboration on research, efforts to increase investment, and a drive to improve the adoption of innovation across the sector.

A new $33 million supercomputer is to be installed at the Pawsey Centre in Perth  with Cray Inc leading  a group of five supercomputing suppliers to build the supercomputer.

The Queensland Government is planning to appoint a leading scientists to chair the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Science Panel.

The Federal Government’s $70 million Coal Mining Abatement Technology Support Package has been launched, providing funding to accelerate the development of abatement technologies and processes for the Australian coal mining industry.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr has announced that Australia will provide up to $100 million over five years to help build Indonesia's research capacity and study the impact of development assistance in alleviating poverty.

The Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency has released a discussion paper which examines skills and workforce development needs arising four different scenarios for Australia’s economic future.

The Queensland Government is providing $250,000 to each of two research projects to be jointly undertaken and funded with Chinese partners under the Queensland-Chinese Academy of Sciences partnership.

The investment is matched by a similar contribution from Chinese authorities.

The Queensland Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts Ros Bates said Queensland is the only sub-national government to have a jointly-funded collaborative research program with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

“We are very proud of this relationship, which stems from our ability to turn scientific discoveries into economic benefits and better lifestyles for our respective citizens.

“This government wholeheartedly believes in the exchange and development of strategic knowledge as a way of placing our scientific capabilities on par with the best in the world.”

CAS President Professor Bai Chunli, who is a member of the Chinese State Council and a respected researcher, attended the announcement.

Innovative individuals and projects across seven fields have an opportunity to secure cash prizes and national recognition as part of the Australian Innovation Challenge, an initiative of The Australian newspaper in association with Shell Australia.

The Australian Government has announced almost $1.3 million of funding for Australia’s next generation of solar researchers.

Stronger links with industry and access to more overseas facilities for Australian astronomers are among the areas Australia's national astronomical observatory will emphasise in the next few years, according to a recently released review.

The Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, has announced enhanced support for manufacturing under the Commercialisation Australia program.

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