Deep collaboration with solar, sheep, sensitive hearing aids, chicken vaccines and green steel reaps $billions

Deep collaboration with industry and across sciences has won five innovative research projects an Australian Collaborative Innovation Award for 2012.

Announced this evening [Wednesday 16 May 2012], the awards recognise the impacts of collaboration on advancing Australian technology and knowhow.

Pluto technology, the world’s most commercially successful photovoltaic cell, has increased solar cell efficiency to more than 20 per cent and significantly reduced costs. The technology is a result of the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence at UNSW teaming up their device knowledge with the manufacturing expertise of the Suntech-Power Co Ltd.

For interview contact, Professor Stuart Wenham, Photovoltaics Centre at UNSW, phone 0411 492 417

The Australian sheep industry is significantly improving rate of genetic gain including meat and wool quality thanks to combining the measurement of traits in 18,000 sheep with DNA analysis. The multidisciplinary research team worked on eight research farms across Australia to collect the information that has made possible this dramatic entry of the Australian sheep industry into the ‘genomic era’ of livestock improvement.

For interview contact, Professor James Rowe, CEO Sheep CRC, phone 0418 810 130

Millions of hearing aid wearers around the world will benefit from technology developed jointly by the HEARing CRC, Siemens and the National Acoustic Laboratories. The technology uses new prescription software to tailor hearing aids to individual needs for sound quality and loudness.

For interview, contact Greg Lawrence, HEARing CRC, phone 0431 426 623

Vaxsafe® PM is a new vaccine to protect chickens against fowl cholera, saving the Australian chicken meat industry an estimated $13M a year. It was developed by the Australian Poultry CRC working with Bioproperties Pty Ltd and The University of Melbourne. Vaxsafe® PM was released in mid 2011, generating sales of over one million doses within the first 5 months.

For interview, contact Professor Mingan Choct, CEO Poultry CRC, phone 0409 606 521

Using recycled rubber tyres and plastics to replace a significant proportion of coke consumed in EAF steel making is now a reality thanks to collaboration between the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology and One Steel Ltd. With approximately 60% of tyres in Australia ending up in landfill or illegally dumped, this technology has resulted in over one million tyres being diverted to make value added ‘green’ steel over the last five years. Polymer Injection Technology is now being sold by OneSteel to EAF steelmakers around the world.

For interview, contact Professor Veena Sahajwalla (UNSW), phone 0400 490 479 or Darren O’Connell (OneSteel), phone 0418 602 921

The Collaborative Innovation Awards are being presented at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide on Wednesday evening, 16 May 2012

For interviews about the awards, contact Dr Tony Peacock, CEO, Cooperative Research Centres Association Inc, phone 0402 036 110

For media assistance, including full releases and photos contact Jenni Metcalfe, phone 0408 551 866,

Adobe PDF fileAustralian Collaborative Innovation Awards 2012