Initiative links top PhD students with chemicals industry

A new training program led by Monash University and the Plastics and
Chemicals Industries Association was announced yesterday.

The Chemicals and Plastics Innovation Network
and Training Program was detailed at the PACIA annual event, titled Manufacturing Our Future, which concludes today.

The program was established with $5.9 million
in funding, $600,000 of this coming from the Victorian government’s
Manufacturing Productivity Networks program.

More than 20 industry participants have
joined as members (see below), including BASF, the CSIRO and 3M.

“The network of 20 organisations led by PACIA and
Monash University will more than match the government’s $600,000 grant for a
total project cost of $5.9 million including in-kind support, and will seek to
address obstacles to growth that are facing the chemicals and plastics
(C&P) industry,” said Craig Ondarchie, parliamentary secretary to the premier, at yesterday’s launch.

“The three year project will bring together small to medium
enterprises to collaborate with multinationals, professional bodies and
research organisation.”

Monash’s vice chancellor Margaret Gardner
said over 16 projects would be co-sponsored by her university.

“These
projects will enable exceptionally talented students in science and engineering
the opportunity to work with around 40 top academics and industrial researchers
on leading edge innovations for the chemicals and plastics manufacturing
industry,” said Professor Gardner.

“Monash
is extremely excited by this partnership to act as a catalyst for innovation
with industry to produce a new generation of scientists and engineers, with
business acumen and best practice knowledge to champion globally relevant
innovation and add value to this industry, where it counts.”

PACIA CEO
Samantha Read said the response from industry to the project had been exceptional.

“The
highly talented and skilled PhD researchers coming out of this program will
have a firm understanding of industry needs,” she said.

“This is
an extremely valuable contribution towards the on-going development of
Australia’s technology base and a highly skilled and productive workforce.”

Members: BASF,
Procter & Gamble, 3M, Nufarm, Dulux Group, PPG Industries, Nuplex
Industries, Agilent Technologies, AquaHydrex, Digital Ink Technologies,
PerkinElmer, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
(CSIRO), the Australasian Industrial Research Group (AIRG), EPA Victoria, the
national industry association for the Australasian hygiene, cosmetic and
specialty products industry (ACCORD), SEMMA (South East Melbourne Manufacturing
Alliance), SEMIP (South East Melbourne Innovation Precinct), the Australian
Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), STC (Small Technologies
Cluster) and KPMG.


Image: http://m.flikie.com/