Updated on 18 May 2012
According to professor Peter Hodgson, director, Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (ITRI), Deakin University, Australia, "With strong biotech and information technology skills, India has enormous potential. By shifting the focus on future technologies such as bionanotechnology, India can leapfrog China in development. Australia has developed one of the best healthcare systems in the world that spread over a large area.
Extensive work is happening at Deakin in lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes and obesity. India has to face the lifestyle-related issues as the young population in the country is more prone to these diseases due to their affinity towards Western food habits."
Deakin University has also entered into a research partnership with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and has established TERI Deakin NanoBiotechnology Research Centre in New Delhi. Researchers at Deakin University's ITRI bring excellence and expertise in the design and characterization of novel nanomaterials to the center, while TERI researchers in the Biotechnology and Management of Bioresources Division (BMBD) bring extensive experience in biotech applications in the field of pharmacology, food, agriculture, and environment. Within five years, the center will have about 70 researchers, including 50 PhD students enrolled at Deakin and co-supervised by Deakin and TERI staff.
At the government level, Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) is Australia's largest fund dedicated to bilateral research and one of India's largest sources of support for international science, providing $65 million over eight years from 2006-07.
The Indo-Australian Biotechnology Fund (IABF) is a significant component of the AISRF and so far five rounds have gone through. The priority areas for the projects include neutraceuticals, vaccines and medical diagnostics, stem cells, transgenic crops and marker assisted breeding, and bioenergy. In May 2011, AISRF announced the sixth round with eight new projects within the IABF (see Indo-Australian Biotechnology Fund Project). Under the program, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Australia's Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research will soon start joint research in the defined priority areas mentioned above.