The University of Adelaide has launched a joint Australia-China centre for agriculture and health at its Waite campus with leading ‘China 9’ university, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
The two universities are working together to contribute to the national food, water and health targets of their respective countries under four themes: agriculture and wine; land and water; food safety and quality; and health and nutrition.
The emphasis is on the development of new technologies, new skills and new trading opportunities.
A delegation from Shanghai Jiao Tong, led by Deputy President Professor Lin Zhongqin, joined State Government representatives, Chief Scientist of South Australia Professor Leanna Read and senior personnel from the University and research partners to launch the centre and associated research laboratory.
Initiatives and early successes under the new University of Adelaide and Shanghai Jiao Tong University Centre for Agriculture and Health include:
• Establishment of the University of Adelaide and Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Laboratory for Plant Science and Breeding researching key problems in food security, including the generation of more environmentally resilient and productive crops ─ also launched today
• The joint professorial appointment (in January 2015) between the two universities of Professor Dabing Zhang, distinguished Chinese plant scientist, who is leading the joint laboratory and dividing his time between Adelaide and Shanghai Jiao Tong
• A postdoctoral researcher appointed to the joint laboratory and two PhD students from Shanghai Jiao Tong University with more to come
• A research project just starting with University of Adelaide wine scientists to develop wine specifically suited to the Chinese market in collaboration with Australia’s wine industry and Shanghai Jiao Tong University
• Agreement to establish a collaborative research centre into healthy grains to: enhance sustainability of Chinese and Australian agricultural development; produce healthy grain products free of contaminants; assess market potential for healthier grain products; and to improve human health outcomes.
University of Adelaide Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Mike Brooks says the partnership is off to a wonderful start with significant research, broader collaborations across the University and industry, and new trading opportunities underway.
“Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Adelaide have a range of mutual research interests and complementary research capabilities,” Professor Brooks says.
“Working together to advance development in these areas of agriculture and wine, natural resources, food and nutrition, will enable us to make significant contributions towards healthy populations, food security, clean environments and sustainable industries in both countries.”