By Andy Choi
The governments of Australia and China have signed an agreement to further expand nanoscience research between the two countries. The governments have announced, they will jointly fund a new state-of-the-art nanotechnology laboratory in China.
A memorandum of understanding between the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) and the International Strategic Technology Alliance of Chinese universities will establish the Australia-China Joint Laboratory on Nanoscience, to be situated in the city of Suzhou on China’s central east coast.
Australian Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr, said "I welcome the signing of this important agreement that will create further linkages and opportunities for Australian universities to engage with the rapidly expanding Chinese research sector. Through partnership, we can explore the exciting opportunities now opening in the nanotechnology field. Research undertaken at this centre, for example, could lead to better diagnosis and treatment of cancer; and more effective purification of drinkable and waste waters." Senator Carr added.
Attending the signing ceremony in China, federal minister for tertiary education, Senator Chris Evans hoped the agreement would lead to increased interaction and cooperation between Chinese and Australian researchers and PhD students, thus further strengthening ties between the two countries.
“This is a great example of the kind of cutting-edge research that can be undertaken when Australian and Chinese organisations work together. I am very pleased that Australian universities are engaging with their Chinese counterparts to build research and research training capacity, increasing their international linkages,” he said.
In August the Australia-China Nanoscience and Technology Centre was launched during the Shanghai World Expo, bringing together the CSIRO, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials and two leading Chinese nanotechnology institutes.
Two months earlier Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping officially inaugurated The Australia-China Joint Research Centre for Functional Molecular Materials at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.
Currently, China is Australia’s third ranked partner in scientific applications and in developing ‘materials science’ including nanotechnology as well (13 percent of joint papers published in 2009 being in this field).