Australia pledges $ 4 million for joint investigation with India on COVID-19, agricultural technology

The Australia-India Strategic Research Fund is funding six new projects (Representational)

Melbourne:

The Australian government has invested A $ 4 million for a joint study, together with Indian researchers, on the long-term effects of COVID-19 on health and its early detection, the Minister of Industry, Science and Technology announced on Thursday. Australia.

The Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) is funding six new projects, ranging from agricultural technology to detecting coronavirus.

The agricultural projects focus on developing risk management systems to protect farmers from disasters associated with climate change and to demonstrate how food drying technology using renewable energy can reduce pollution in the food processing sector.

In addition to new technologies for early detection of COVID-19, researchers are focusing on the long-term effects of the virus on the hearts and lungs of patients who have recovered.

Australian Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said she is pleased that work in these important areas can continue after the COVID-19 pandemic caused significant delays this year.

“This latest funding will allow Australian and Indian researchers to contribute to the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including in crucial screening and diagnostic tests,” the minister said.

“As a result of our shared commitment to finding answers through science and technology, India and Australia have tackled a number of shared challenges since AISRF was established in 2006, with significant advancements in areas such as agriculture, energy and health, “said the minister. said.

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“The Australian government remains committed to our strong strategic relationship with India, which provides numerous economic benefits for both countries,” the minister said in an official press release.

Australian grant recipients are the University of South Australia, the University of South Queensland, the Sydney University of Technology, Metro North Hospital and Health Service in Brisbane, the University of Adelaide and the University of Western Australia.

In June 2020, the Australian government announced that it would commit a further US $ 15 million to extend AISRF for another four years until 2024, bringing Australia’s total contribution to the AISRF fund to nearly AU $ 100 million over 18 years. .

The AISRF is Australia’s largest fund dedicated to bilateral scientific collaboration.

To date, the coronavirus has killed 1,41,772 people with 97,67,371 confirmed cases in India, according to the Ministry of Health. In Austrtalia, COVID-19 has claimed 908 lives along with 28,000 confirmed infections, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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