A new $1 million laboratory to commercialise marine biotechnology research and development will be created through a partnership between Flinders University and a leading Chinese company specialising in advanced food technology and processing.
Science Minister Kyam Maher says Shandong Tianjiu Industrial Group and Flinders University’s Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development today signed two documents in Adelaide outlining the intention to collaborate.
“Today’s Heads of Agreement opens the door to future joint initiatives and the Research Collaboration Agreement establishes the Flinders – Tianjiu Joint Laboratory for Microalgae Functional Foods,” Mr Maher said.
“Funding from the Shandong Tianjiu group and Flinders University will be used for research collaboration to identify new products and technologies to extract protein and peptides from microalgae which are then added to food to improve health and aim to prevent, or treat chronic diseases.
Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith says the agreements represent an exciting opportunity to strengthen connections between Shandong and South Australia in research, development and commercialising results.
“The visit may also identify opportunities to export commodities, such as dairy and barley, and investment in agriculture businesses in Australia and advanced manufacturing of high-value products,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“This collaboration reflects the State Government’s commitment to developing greater commercial and collaborative partnerships with South Australia’s biggest trading partner, China.
“We will be celebrating our 30th anniversary with Shandong, South Australia’s sister-state, next month when we travel with our largest business delegation to China, led by Premier Weatherill.
“The State Government’s International Business Mission Program is underway and focused on building South Australia’s connections, alliances and exports to a new level.
“Organisations participating in the business missions will have the opportunity to foster international connections and meet potential investment partners.”
Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling said this is another outstanding example of collaborative translational research and development agreements which focuses on achieving commercial outcomes, which can create business and jobs for South Australia.
“This strategic research partnership follows on from our long-running Gather Great Ocean Group joint laboratory collaboration model, this time with another prominent Chinese corporate partner,” Professor Stirling said.
Flinders University Director of the Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development, Professor Wei Zhang said the Shandong Tianjiu group-Flinders University joint investment of almost $1 million is just the first phase of investment and could expand in future, says Professor Wei Zhang, director of the Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development at Flinders.
“We are delighted to partner with this large agricultural, food and biotech processing company which is investing heavily in innovation and has already invested millions in R&D,” Professor Zhang said.