More students to work with industry to accelerate new technologies

by WA Government News | Aug 15, 2019
  • Science and Industry PhD Fellowship Program election commitment delivered
  • 13 STEM university students funded to support innovative WA businesses and accelerate the development of exciting new technologies.
  • $720,000 program to diversify the WA economy and promoting jobs growth

A group of 13 STEM students from Western Australian universities have been awarded scholarships by the McGowan Government to collaborate with WA businesses and provide the underpinning research to accelerate the development of innovative technology projects.

The scholarships are provided through the Science and Industry PhD Fellowship Program, a McGowan Government election commitment to provide a total of $720,000 from the New Industries Fund to 24 PhD students over three years.

The State Government established the New Industries Fund to support and grow local jobs by partnering with industry in areas of strategic importance to the State.

Three students will work to support technologies related to the State's Future Battery Industry Strategy, including one project seeking to recover battery metals (such as cobalt and rare earth elements) from smelting slag.

Another funded project aligned to the State's Renewable Hydrogen Strategy aims to incorporate artificial leaf cells into a building's external cladding panels. The cells will use sunlight to split waste water into hydrogen and oxygen, and use the hydrogen for heating and cooking within the building.

Other Fellowships projects awarded include:

  • environmentally sustainable systems to breed and grow rainbow trout for domestic consumption
  • an automated process to monitor the health of beehives
  • the development of technology to produce bio-methane from waste material
  • understanding how transport systems and traffic flow can be improved by autonomous vehicles
  • identifying genetic characteristics that will enable legumes crops to cope with climate change
  • a new system for creating artificial tissue to stabilise surgically repaired joints

Round 2 was the final round of the Science Industry PhD Fellowships program. Successful candidates will receive $30,000 over three years to support their research project in partnership with industry.

More at:

Comments attributed to Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly:

"Congratulations to these 13 innovative STEM students who will now work with industry partners to advance technologies in developing Western Australian industries, such as hydrogren and battery production.

"Partnering industry with these students who can conduct research that will accelerate the development of these projects is all about diversifying our economy to create jobs in new industries.  

"These are exciting, ground-breaking projects for our State and I look forward to hearing more about their progress over the three-year life of the Fellowships. 

"I thank our universities and industry partners who have provided terrific support for the McGowan Government's Science Industry PhD Fellowship program."

Minister's office -  6552 6100

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