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A new centre that will help Australian food manufacturing companies stay globally competitive was officially launched Nov. 3 at the University of Sydney.
The “ARC training centre for the Australian food processing industry in the 21st Century” (ARCFPTC) was awarded $3 million over three years from the Australian Research Council through its Industrial Transformation Research Program.
The key objectives of the centre are to boost the Australian industry’s capacity to successfully compete in global market by developing cost-effective processes and produce high-value products such as nutriceuticals with health benefits for the prevention and treatment of chronic and acute diseases.
According to Professor Fariba Dehghani from the Sydney School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and co-director of the new centre ARCFPTC has been designed to boost the nation’s food technology and manufacturing capacity.
“The new centre aims to boost the Australian industry’s capacity to compete in a global market, particularly in the production of nutraceuticals for pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, or food ingredients,” Professor Dehghani stated.
“The centre will design cost effective and sustainable processes for producing these types of products with a view to minimising waste while enhancing efficiency and reducing energy consumption,” said Professor Dehghani.
The centre will provide a multidisciplinary research environment that includes 14 researchers from engineering, agriculture, science and medicine, as well as international collaborators, and 10 food and biotechnology industry partners.
The ARCFPTC will work with Australian businesses to develop more advanced manufacturing techniques in order to reduce costs and increase energy efficiency. The funding of the centre has been supplemented by its 10 industry partners through cash and in-kind contributions.
“This particular ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre has an important focus and it covers a key research sector identified in the Australian Government’s recent Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda-food and agribusiness. This centre will educate a new generation of engineers and scientists and foster the capacity of Australian Food industries to further develop advanced technologies in manufacturing and product improvement,” ARC CEO Professor Aidan Byrne said.
“Another key objective of this centre is to work with industry partners to develop improved processes for the production of nutraceuticals, such as nutrients and dietary supplements, for the promotion of health and well-being.
“These high-value products have the potential to significantly increase Australian exports in agribusiness.”
University of Sydney School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Established in 1946, the Sydney School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering offered the first university-level chemical engineering program in Australia. Since then, the school has been committed to excellence in both teaching and research.
The school offers an exciting range of chemical engineering and biomolecular engineering undergraduate, postgraduate and research programs. Areas of study include chemical engineering, biochemical engineering and biotechnology, energy and environment, green product and process design, minerals processing, process systems engineering and sustainability. They also offer a unique industrial placement scholarship program, where top undergraduate students can spend 6 months of full-time work undertaking high-level investigative projects with one of the university’s industry partners.
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