Australian Consulate-General
Chennai, India

Media release

28 October 2015                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            PA-CN/10/01


Australian Trade and Investment Minister Sees Great Potential for Innovation Partnerships


Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb stressed the importance of innovation in promoting economic growth and developing new industries during his visit to the IIT Madras Research Park in Chennai today.

“Australia has a proud record of innovation. Many ‘game-changing’ technologies including the ultrasound scanner, the blackbox flight recorder, the Cochlear bionic ear and WiFi were all breakthroughs that originated in Australia,” said Mr Robb, who delivered a speech at IIT Madras on the theme of “Innovation and Growth”.

Mr Robb highlighted the need to create an environment that would foster innovation and the role that government had to play in promoting this. He also noted that institutions such as IIT Madras Research Park were critical to driving innovation..

“Moving R&D from the research phase to commercialisation through industry involvement in incubators such as those I have seen here at IIT Madras Research Park is fundamental to the success of innovation,” Mr Robb added.

Mr Robb spoke about the importance of collaboration and partnership between educational and research institutes in Australia and India. “Australian research institutes and universities are at the forefront of research in sectors that are important to India such as healthcare, medicine and advanced manufacturing.”

IIT Madras alone has 14 MOUs with universities in Australia, including as part of an A$3 million Melbourne-India Postgraduate Program in collaboration with the University of Melbourne. “We value our links with Indian institutions like the IIT Madras, and we want to see more such partnerships happen in the future.”

The Australia-India Strategic Research Fund, with its emphasis on collaborative research in science and technology and biotechnology, is the centrepiece of the framework put in place by the Australian Government to encourage research partnerships between Australia and India.