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Initiative links top PhD students with chemicals industry

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A new training program led by Monash University and the Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association was announced yesterday.

The Chemicals and Plastics Innovation Network and Training Program was detailed at the PACIA annual event, titled Manufacturing Our Future, which concludes today.

The program was established with $5.9 million in funding, $600,000 of this coming from the Victorian government’s Manufacturing Productivity Networks program.

More than 20 industry participants have joined as members (see below), including BASF, the CSIRO and 3M.

“The network of 20 organisations led by PACIA and Monash University will more than match the government’s $600,000 grant for a total project cost of $5.9 million including in-kind support, and will seek to address obstacles to growth that are facing the chemicals and plastics (C&P) industry,” said Craig Ondarchie, parliamentary secretary to the premier, at yesterday’s launch.

“The three year project will bring together small to medium enterprises to collaborate with multinationals, professional bodies and research organisation.”

Monash’s vice chancellor Margaret Gardner said over 16 projects would be co-sponsored by her university.

“These projects will enable exceptionally talented students in science and engineering the opportunity to work with around 40 top academics and industrial researchers on leading edge innovations for the chemicals and plastics manufacturing industry,” said Professor Gardner.

“Monash is extremely excited by this partnership to act as a catalyst for innovation with industry to produce a new generation of scientists and engineers, with business acumen and best practice knowledge to champion globally relevant innovation and add value to this industry, where it counts.”

PACIA CEO Samantha Read said the response from industry to the project had been exceptional.

“The highly talented and skilled PhD researchers coming out of this program will have a firm understanding of industry needs,” she said.

“This is an extremely valuable contribution towards the on-going development of Australia’s technology base and a highly skilled and productive workforce.”

Members: BASF, Procter & Gamble, 3M, Nufarm, Dulux Group, PPG Industries, Nuplex Industries, Agilent Technologies, AquaHydrex, Digital Ink Technologies, PerkinElmer, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australasian Industrial Research Group (AIRG), EPA Victoria, the national industry association for the Australasian hygiene, cosmetic and specialty products industry (ACCORD), SEMMA (South East Melbourne Manufacturing Alliance), SEMIP (South East Melbourne Innovation Precinct), the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), STC (Small Technologies Cluster) and KPMG.

Image: http://m.flikie.com/

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