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Excellence in Science and Industry Collaboration

Congratulations to the 2022 Excellence in Science and Industry Collaboration finalists

Driving Australia's Blue Bioeconomy

Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development, Flinders University 

The oceans around Australia are abundant with extraordinary bioresources, including fish, coral, seaweed, crustaceans, sea sponges and sea cucumbers.

The Centre for Marine Bioproducts (CMBD) at Flinders University works collaboratively with South Australian industry to transform these sustainable materials into high-value products such as medicines, biodegradable plastics, bio-inks, nutrition drinks, and eco-friendly fertilisers. Using ’green chemistry’, our dedicated staff and research students develop advanced manufacturing processes to reduce waste, water, energy use, and the need for harmful chemicals, supporting industries to transform into a circular bioeconomy.

Led by Director, Professor Wei Zhang, CMBD is pioneering the innovations to establish a new Australian marine bioproducts industry –– with South Australia at its centre. By connecting South Australia with international partners, CMBD has developed 21 new products, generated more than A$50 million research and development income and more than $200 million economic value, facilitated investment decisions of $1 billion for 20+ industry partners, with 10 from South Australia, since 2010.

CMBD has led the establishment of a new $270 million Marine Bioproducts Cooperative Research Centre, which is expected to generate $8.6 billion for the Australian economy, create more than 26,000 new jobs, and develop new, exciting products that protect our health and our environment by 2035.


National Drilling Initiative Delamerian Drilling Campaign

Cooperative Research Centre for Mineral Exploration

The NDI Delamerian Drilling Campaign is a first-of-a-kind collaboration between researchers at the University of South Australia, Curtin University, CSIRO, Imdex Limited and the Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA), and made possible by the MinEx CRC. The drilling campaign was preceded by a two-year period during which researchers from the GSSA completed an exhaustive re-examination of pre-existing data, conducted landholder consultation, environmental evaluations and cultural surveys to ensure stakeholder engagement, minimise impact and manage land access at industry-leading standards.

The drilling program was conducted between October 2021 and April 2022, and included 16 drill holes completed with a revolutionary coiled tubing (CT) drilling platform developed by MinEx CRC and deployed in its first full-production field trial in the Delamerian campaign. The CT drilling platform delivered excellent samples (including drill core), was more productive, safer, and with lower water and fuel consumption than conventional drilling conducted in the same rocks.

The campaign delivered on its aims to uncover a new mineral province beneath the shallow marine deposits and sand dunes of the Murray Basin in the eastern border regions of South Australia, and to provide a field trial for innovative drilling technologies, with the potential to revolutionise mineral exploration.

Shark Safe Consortium

Flinders University

Australia’s beaches are popular destinations for locals and tourists alike. However, global increases in the number of shark attacks, and the negative media attention this generates, has increased people’s fear of sharks. This fear is understandable—shark attacks are devastating for victims, traumatic for witnesses, and tragic for families. They also negatively impact regional economies and small businesses that depend on revenue associated with ocean activities.

The Shark Safe Consortium brings together scientists, governments and industry partners with a common interest in reducing the risk of shark attacks in innovative and humane ways. Using scientifically robust protocols, the team tested the effectiveness of a range of shark deterrent products originating from South Australia, with research confirming that the products could stop shark attacks and reduce injuries from shark bites. 

Together, the Shark Safe Consortium took conceptual ideas and turned them into scientifically validated products ready for commercialisation in a global market. In turn, national and international government organisations can implement evidence-based measures to make their waters safer.

The Shark Safe Consortium is reducing the risk of shark attacks and saving the lives of sharks, other marine animals, and humans. In the process, it is supporting local coastal economies and driving commercial developments.

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