South Australia’s ‘blue economy’ will be boosted by a strategic alliance between the State Government and Flinders University to support the development of research capabilities.
Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling and Minister for Primary Industries and Regions David Basham say the alliance is focused on sustainable growth in this important, opportunity-filled sector.
The blue economy – covering marine and aquatic production – already contributes almost half a billion dollars to the state annually.
Professor Stirling said the alliance will support the future management and development of some of the state’s key natural assets.
“South Australia’s extensive coastline, diverse aquatic habitats, and unique marine environment has considerable potential to sustainably grow South Australia’s blue economy.
“This agreement also fosters future research talent and supports our up-and-coming innovative thinkers to be immersed in the real-world experience they need to become the next generation of world-changing scientists,” Professor Stirling said.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regions David Basham said the latest agreement with Flinders University strengthens the research relationship between the University and the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), the research arm of the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA).
“This agreement covering aquatic sciences, aquaculture and water research, builds upon an already extensive collaborative relationship between both well-respected institutions,” he said.
“It also builds upon other similar strategic partnerships established with the university sector to ensure the state remains at the forefront of primary industries research.
“The latest alliance with Flinders University will increase the state’s research capacity to grow and diversify our fisheries and aquaculture industries, one of the largest South Australian’s primary production sectors with a joint production value of $469 million and cement our place as a global leader in aquatic and marine science.
“South Australia is already known as the seafood state, and this sharing of research-related infrastructure will enhance our world-class research through increasing the competitiveness for external research funding,” Minister Basham said.
Flinders University Partnership Seed Grants have been developed in collaboration with SARDI to stimulate collaborative research between the two organisations.
Both are matching seed funding to ‘kick-start’ collaborative research with the aim of leveraging external grant funding through high quality applications that will be able to demonstrate the strength of the collaboration through the seed-funded research.
Funding of up to $20,000 will be provided for SARDI-Flinders collaborative research with a total funding pool of $80,000. Applications close on 31 March 2022.