The Federal government is providing a $3.3 million support for a new research training centre, with focus on creating commercial opportunities in the chemical manufacturing industry.
The funding is part of the government’s Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Research Program.
Based at the University of Melbourne, the ARC Training Centre for the Chemical Industries will undertake industry-led research on chemical manufacturing technologies and create new commercial products, such as medicines, improved paints and robust plastics.
Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the investment would help create more jobs in chemical industry, which already employed more than 60,000 people and was worth $38.6 billion.
“The training centre unites experts from universities and industry to undertake research that will create job opportunities for Australians,” the Minister said.
“The centre will also focus on the professional development of early career researchers so we continue to develop the next generation of scientists and researchers that give industry in Australia the leading edge.”
Senator for Victoria James Paterson, who launched the new centre last week, said it would help address the chemical industry’s need for highly-skilled STEM graduates who have academic training, as well as relevant industry skills and experience.
“The centre will mentor the next generation of research talent, giving early career researchers experience in conducting industry-focused research,” Mr Paterson said.
“The Government is supporting these centres so our young researchers have the opportunity to gain real world experience.”
The centre will be led by The University of Melbourne, who will collaborate with The University of New South Wales and Swinburne University of Technology, and with participating organisations: Chemistry Australia; Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation; Duluxgroup (Australia); Qenos; PPG Industries; and the Trustee for DCS Technical Trust.
University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis said the new centre would not only boost opportunities for early career STEM graduates, but build closer links between graduates and employers as well.
“The ARC Training Centre for the Chemical Industries provides an important bridge between University of Melbourne researchers, the community and STEM employers,” Professor Davis continued.
“The new ARC Training Centre will create a framework for major employers of our STEM graduates to engage with our world-class teaching and research.”
“We also believe it will provide opportunities to a diverse range of graduates, as we seek to continually increase female participation in STEM.”